Cadee Condit Defends her Father

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," February 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Now to the mysterious disappearance and murder of D.C. intern Chandra Levy (search). Nearly four years ago, her killing occurred and is unsolved. Former congressman Gary Condit (search) was never named a suspect in the murder, but he found himself at the center of public suspicion and controversy. Now Gary Condit has filed an $11 million defamation lawsuit against author Dominick Dunne (search). Gary Condit's daughter, Cadee Condit, joins us in Los Angeles.

Nice to see you, Cadee.

CADEE CONDIT, GARY CONDIT'S DAUGHTER: Nice to see you. Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is tough for a kid, isn't it.

CONDIT: This is tough. And it never gets easy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Has it changed at all in the past four years?

CONDIT: It's changed a little bit. It's been very difficult on my family. It's been a tough go. We're in the middle of this lawsuit. And Gary deserves to be suing. It's a big deal. Dominick Dunne needs to be held accountable for what he said about Gary.

VAN SUSTEREN: You say Gary. I always hear you say that. Why do you call him Gary? I mean, he's your father.

CONDIT: Well, no. I call him Dad, as well. No, it's not family thing. But when you work in a professional setting with your dad, it just becomes easier to call him Gary. I worked for the governor of California, and they were close friends. It's just easier sometimes to call him Gary rather than Dad.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. For those who are unfamiliar with the lawsuit that's been filed against Dominick Dunne, what is it that Dominick Dunne said, or at least that is alleged that he said, that is the basis of the lawsuit?

CONDIT: Well, he went on Laura Ingraham, as well as Larry King, and said that Gary went to a Middle Eastern embassy, where he took pleasure in prostitution. And over the course of the Middle Eastern visits, Gary mentioned Chandra and had someone take care of Chandra, insinuating that he created the atmosphere for Chandra's death and disappearance.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you actually hear it, or did you just later hear the reports?

CONDIT: I later heard the reports.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea why Dominick Dunne said this?

CONDIT: I have no idea why he said this. His sources were horrible. He didn't fact check. I have no idea. He wanted to create trouble for Gary Condit, and he said so in "Vanity Fair." He didn't like the way Gary looked. He didn't like the way he carried his coat. So he wanted to cause some trouble for Gary.

VAN SUSTEREN: What trouble has it caused your father?

CONDIT: Well, being in the middle of a lawsuit is really difficult. And being called a murderer is horrible, not only to your career but your own personal wellbeing. It's damaged him greatly.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of damage exactly how? I mean, he ran for reelection, lost in the primary.

CONDIT: Lost in the primary.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you attribute the comments by Dominick Dunne as contributing to the loss?

CONDIT: Absolutely. You know, we had a lot of things said about us over the course of 2001, but when Dominick Dunne came out and said that he had something to do with the disappearance and the kidnapping of Chandra Levy, it took it to a different level. I have to tell you, dealing with voters on a day-to-day basis, you know, Dominick Dunne is a credible source. He writes books. He has a Court TV show. He's in "Vanity Fair." It just takes it to a different level.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your father's now been deposed.

CONDIT: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Under oath. And there's going to be a second round of the depositions.

CONDIT: Yes. Actually, he completed seven hours of deposition.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any problem with the line of questioning of your father? Because a lot of them pry into, you know, what relationship he might have had or may have had or didn't have with Chandra Levy.

CONDIT: I don't have a problem with it at all. Gary's ready to be deposed. I don't have a problem with it at all. But there is a line. You know, it can't be just a fishing expedition in Gary's personal life. It has nothing to do with the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's too far for you?

CONDIT: Too far? Well, you know, about my dad's personal life — you know, if they want to go into Gary's personal life. But he's openly admitted he and Chandra were friends, and so he's ready to answer any and all questions about the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's been a source of controversy. It was reported, or at least, I think it was reported...

CONDIT: Reported.

VAN SUSTEREN: It was reported. I'm very careful with the words. Correct me if I'm wrong — but that this was more than just simply a friendship, that this was a romantic relationship. At least, that's what it was reported that he said to the police. True or false?

CONDIT: Well, I wasn't in on the interviews, but I have been in every deposition concerning this case. I know Gary was truthful with the police at all times. He told them the truth about everything. But it's been reported that he said something. The police department didn't come out and say that. It's been reported. It was a leak.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that a fair question of him? Is it relevant to the case?

CONDIT: I don't think it is. But the judge ruled that — you know, he'll answer any questions that the judge feels is relevant to his case.

VAN SUSTEREN: How hard is it, I mean, to sit there and listen or know the public is saying, Did or he didn't he have a sexual relation with Chandra?

CONDIT: Well, I think people need to step outside of the box. This is bigger than sex. It's always been bigger than sex. And a lot of people didn't see that. You know, the disappearance of Chandra Levy wasn't about sex. The murder of Chandra Levy was not about sex. And Gary Condit versus Dominick Dunne is not about sex. It's about Dominick Dunne going on television, national television, and saying that Gary Condit had something to do with the disappearance and the murder of Chandra Levy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever met Dominick Dunne?

CONDIT: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And was it at the deposition?

CONDIT: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about Chandra Levy? Ever meet her?

CONDIT: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ever hear her name before she disappeared?

CONDIT: No.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did you first hear of her disappearance? I mean, what context?

CONDIT: It was a while ago. I think my mom told me that Dr. Levy had called the house and needed help getting the D.C. police involved, and so they called their local congressman. So my dad contacted the D.C. police, as well as the FBI, to get them involved.

VAN SUSTEREN: And that was the first you heard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JULY 2001)

DR. ROBERT LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S FATHER: It's just never been about politics. It's just about helping to find our daughter, Chandra. And Mr. Condit has made pledges and promises for a long time, before the campaign, during the campaign, that he would do anything he could to help the investigators. And we just ask that he keep his word and keep his pledge that he will cooperate completely and talk to our investigators and help them find our daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: That was Chandra Levy's father soon after his daughter, Chandra, disappeared. We're back with Gary Condit's daughter, Cadee. Cadee, what's your response to the Levys? That was 2001, July. Maybe there's been a change. But they wanted more from your father.

CONDIT: You know, my heart and prayers go out to the Levys. I can't even imagine what they've gone through. Gary cooperated fully with the police department and the FBI. I don't know what else to say. He did everything he possibly could, tried to on numerous accounts to contact the Levys, and they didn't want to talk to him.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was the business about going over to Virginia and getting rid of a box in the trash?

CONDIT: First of all, Virginia, D.C., not so far away.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, but his — but if you go from Capitol Hill to his home, you don't go through Virginia.

CONDIT: Well, you do go if you're with your staff person, Mike Dayton, who lives in Virginia. They were on their way to switch cars. They stopped off at 5 Guys (ph). My mom was in town. She wanted a cheeseburger and fries from there. They stopped off, got cheeseburgers and fries. My dad was starving. He ate it in the car, spilled ketchup and French fries all over him. He had trash in the car, threw it away. And you know what? It wasn't the police that were following him and found the watch box, it was the tabloids, which goes to prove the point that the tabloids sometimes drive an investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, he also had a lawsuit against the tabloids.

CONDIT: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And win or lose?

CONDIT: We successfully settled the case, Greta. That's all I can say.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lin Wood, your lawyer.

CONDIT: Lin Wood out of Atlanta. They are great attorneys, and we are lucky to have them. But they also have a great case.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What are your parents like? If I met them, what would I think? If I ran into your mother in a supermarket, what would I think of her, and what would I think of your father if I ran into him?

CONDIT: They're great people. They really are. They're down to earth, good people. They've always tried to treat others like they wanted to be treated. My mom is just a sweetheart. She's a lot of fun. My dad's a regular guy, loves being a dad and a husband and a grandpa.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did they get through this? I mean, this is a pretty ugly situation. I remember the intense attention on your father and a lot of suspicion. I still get e-mails from people suspicious of your father.

CONDIT: Well, first of all, on your Web site today, it said that, you know, we felt that our family was torn apart, and things like that. One thing that has kept us very grounded through this is that we have each other. We've always stood firm as a family. And we have a strong faith in God. That got us through it. It's still hard. You know, we're fighting.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were there ever times when — I mean, so our Web site was wrong, is that what you're saying?

CONDIT: Yes. We're together.

VAN SUSTEREN: The Web site's wrong?

CONDIT: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, you're together. But I mean, there were no sort of, you know, confrontations? You ever confront your father and ask him what was going on, why he had this friendship with Chandra Levy — allegation — there's Anna Marie Smith said that she had some relationship with your father.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Anna Marie Smith has nothing to do with Chandra Levy, ever.

(AUDIO/VIDEO GAP)

CONDIT: I do think she's lying, yes, but I also don't believe anyone that accepts any money from the tabloids.

VAN SUSTEREN: So that's an automatic disqualifier.

CONDIT: For me, yes, after the last three years, knowing the tabloids. They pay the sources. They change your story. Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ask your father about any of these, and does it matter to you?

CONDIT: No. I've had several conversations with Gary, but I don't have to ask him. I've known him almost 30 years. I've been to every single deposition. I worked on his last campaign. He's a good man, and he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Chandra Levy. And that's the most important thing.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's he doing now?

CONDIT: Gary is living his life. He and my mom are traveling a little bit. We all kind of went into the ice cream business together. And he's just trying to move on with his life. A lot of his attention has gone to the lawsuits.

VAN SUSTEREN: Living in California, Washington...

CONDIT: He splits his time between California and Arizona.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does he miss being a congressman?

CONDIT: Well, you know, he loved his 30 years in public service. Absolutely loved it. He loves working for the people. And he was good at it. He always had a 70 percent or above approval rating. And he did great things for our community. So yes, I'm sure he misses it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think he should have made more public statements after May 2001, when Chandra Levy disappeared? Because you know, we — we chased him. You know, I don't mean just...

CONDIT: Oh, you guys...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: The media chased him.

CONDIT: You were jumping over our fences.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't do that.

CONDIT: Parked out in our...

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm too old for jumping over your fence.

CONDIT: No. Parked out in our front yard. No, there was noting for — I don't think he should have held a press conference, no. Gary was in public office for 30 years and held one press conference. He did the appropriate thing. He went to the law enforcement and the FBI and told them everything he knew about Chandra.

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