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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Chad Condit, Cadee Condit

Aired February 11, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY CONDIT, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: The only person that I know that really called me a murderer and said I had something to do with the kidnapping was Mr. Dunne.

DOMINICK DUNNE, VANITY FAIR: Gary Condit knows more about this story than he has ever let on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Tonight, exclusive, Gary Condit's children speak out in their first joint interview since he sued writer Dominick Dunne in the latest twist to one of the most sensational murder mysteries of our time, the still unsolved death of Chandra Levy. Cadee Condit and Chad Condit, an intense, emotional hour with the children of Gary Condit, exclusive and next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. In May, 2001, Chandra Levy disappeared from her Washington, D.C. apartment. She was quickly linked to California Congressman Gary Condit, and the story made national headlines. Although the congressman always denied having anything to do with her disappearance, many were critical of how he handled the investigation and the media attention the story generated.

Skeletal remains of Chandra Levy's body were found in Rock Creek Park in Washington a year later, and Washington's medical examiner determined that she had been murdered. However, no one has ever been charged with that murder.

Meanwhile, Congressman Condit lost his bid for reelection, is now engaged in an $11 million lawsuit against author, "Vanity Fair" columnist and Court TV personality Dominick Dunne. Gary Condit claims Dunne made false and defamatory statements accusing the congressman of involvement in the crimes of kidnapping and murder.

And one note: CNN has obtained the videotape depositions of both Gary Condit and Dominick Dunne in their ongoing lawsuit, and we'll be playing portions for you tonight. And we welcome Cadee Condit and Chad Condit to LARRY KING LIVE, for a return visit for both.

What have you been up to, Cadee? What are you doing?

CADEE CONDIT, GARY CONDIT'S DAUGHTER: Well, Chad and I started the Justice PAC right after Gary's last election, and we are currently working on extending the statute of limitations in California for libel. Right now, the statute is one year, and feel that it should be extended to three years.

KING: You mean you have to file the suit...

CADEE CONDIT: Within the year.

KING: ... within the year of the charge. That's a full time thing you're working on?

CADEE CONDIT: We're working on that together. We've also gone into business together, and I've focused a lot of my energies on my dad's lawsuits.

KING: What kind of business are you in, Chad?

CHAD CONDIT, GARY CONDIT'S SON: We scoop ice cream. We own a Baskin Robbins.

KING: You own a Baskin, where?

CHAD CONDIT: In Phoenix. Glendale, Arizona.

KING: Both of you own this?

CHAD CONDIT: It's a family run shop, and what's your favorite flavor?

KING: Non-fat -- whatever is non-fat.

CHAD CONDIT: Non-fat. We'll make it non-fat.

KING: You scoop yourself? You go in and scoop?

CHAD CONDIT: I scoop from time to time. We just took over a couple of weeks ago. So I scoop and close and mop the floor.

KING: You scoop, too?

CADEE CONDIT: I've scooped.

KING: What's dad doing?

CADEE CONDIT: Dad's is in the ice cream business with us, and he spends part of his time in California.

KING: When in California, what's he doing?

CHAD CONDIT: He's at home.

KING: Is the lawsuit consuming him?

CHAD CONDIT: Yeah, the lawsuit's pretty time consuming.

KING: How's your mom taking it?

CADEE CONDIT: Mom's doing well. It's definitely been a difficult time, but she's hanging in there. KING: The lawsuit involves statements that Dominick made on this program and on Laura Ingraham's radio show, right?

CHAD CONDIT: Yes, sir.

KING: Was he watching the shows at the time or listening, to your knowledge?

CHAD CONDIT: Well, you know, part of the Justice PAC that Cadee mentioned was what we did after we lost the reelection, is we went back and we read everything, watched all your shows, read all your shows, because you covered it pretty heavy, a lot of networks did. So we researched the media coverage. And so I don't know if dad was watching it, but we did hear about what Dominick said. I think I was watching it the night he was on here. But we've read all the media charges, all the stuff that was said during that intense period. And we know who stepped over the bounds, and Dominick was certainly one of those individuals that did.

KING: There are some who might have said, Cadee, let it go. It's over, you lost the reelection, the body's been found, he's not been charged, go on with life.

CADEE CONDIT: You know, Mr. King, innocent people...

KING: Call me Larry.

CADEE CONDIT: I'll try. Innocent people fight back. Dominick Dunne crossed a line, just as the tabloids did, they called my dad a murderer, insinuating that he had something to do with the kidnapping of Chandra Levy. He's innocent. He didn't have anything to do with it, and Dominick needs to be held accountable for that.

KING: Are you suing tabloids, too?

CADEE CONDIT: We have successfully settled a case against the tabloids.

KING: Oh, they've paid then, and you can't reveal what it was?

CADEE CONDIT: I cannot.

KING: But they have settled with you?

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

KING: To your benefit?

CADEE CONDIT: I think Gary's pleased with the settlement, yes.

CHAD CONDIT: But there was nothing to our benefit. I mean, we would give back whatever they did to go back, to not being, you know, having his character and his reputation assassinated by Dominick and the tabloids. So it's not to our benefit. None of this was to our benefit. Being charged with murder, accused of murder by folks, it doesn't benefit you in any way. So we would give back or do whatever -- you know, to go back to have -- they basically tried to take our name away, take dad's name away, and it wasn't right.

KING: To clear this up now, Dominick Dunne declined our invitation to discuss the lawsuit with us on our show tonight. His attorney also declined, but did provide us with a following statement. "Mr. Condit's lawsuit against Mr. Dunne is built on a number of falsehoods. Mr. Dunne never called Mr. Condit a murderer. What Mr. Dunne said about him on this show on February 13th, 2002 was quote, 'I believe firmly that he knows more than he has ever said,' end quote. That was true then and it is true now, as Condit's deposition shows. Mr. Dunne did not cause Mr. Condit to lose his primary election as Mr. Condit claims. Mr. Dunne did not cause the American people to hold a low opinion of Mr. Condit. Mr. Condit's own actions caused these things to happen. His refusal then and now to answer questions about Ms. Levy, his decision to run for office without telling his constituents what really happened and how he handled it all with the police led the American public to believe that Mr. Condit was hiding something, and that is why he lost his bid for reelection, and that is why he lost the trust of the public at large. Mr. Dunne didn't cause any of that to happen. Mr. Condit did. Mr. Dunne is looking forward to a resolution of this case in his favor by the judge or by a jury."

Want to comment on that?

CHAD CONDIT: That's not true. He did accuse dad of having some Middle Easterners to get rid of Chandra Levy.

KING: He didn't say it on this show.

CHAD CONDIT: That's what the lawsuit says, is that he stated that he got some Middle Eastern folks to get rid of Chandra Levy.

KING: Do you really believe that Dunne caused your father to lose the election?

CADEE CONDIT: If you look at all of the articles and the press that Gary received, Dunne is the only person that said Gary Condit killed Chandra Levy, other than the tabloids. The tabloids are just scum and I think that most people know that. But Dominick crossed a boundary here. He's the only person -- he is a credible person. You yourself introduced him as a prominent journalist.

KING: He sure is.

CADEE CONDIT: He works for "Vanity Fair," Court TV, he writes books. He has a certain credibility, and people believe him. So yes, it hurt us.

CHAD CONDIT: And he stated, I'm going to cause some trouble for Gary Condit.

KING: He said that?

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

CHAD CONDIT: Yes. He stated that, and then he went out and slandered him and called him a murderer. And we'll look forward to seeing Dominick in court. If he stands by what his attorney says, they're going to lose flat.

KING: In his videotaped deposition, Gary Condit tells what he thinks Dominick Dunne's reports did to his job prospects. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you identify any individual who has indicated to you they were wary of giving you employment?

G. CONDIT: Paul, I am going to tell you again, you know, you used the word "murdered my reputation." You did that deliberately. You did that to send out a signal, and I know why you did it. This man down here would do the same thing. I would not put friends of mine, people who are in government, people whose reputations are on the line, I would not go ask them for a job knowing that this man sitting down here at the end of the table, Mr. Dunne, would go on television and say, oh, how terrible it is they hired Gary Condit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We'll be right back with more with the Condits, with Chad and Cadee. Later we'll be including your phone calls and you'll be continuing to seeing scenes from both depositions of Mr. Dunne and former Congressman Condit. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you make as part of your defense in this case, the accusation that Gary Condit was criminally involved in the kidnapping or murder of Chandra Levy?

DUNNE: I have never believed he was criminally involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you believe...

DUNNE: I believe -- I beg your pardon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe...

DUNNE: No, no, no...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please.

DUNNE: I believe, from the beginning and I still believe, to this day that Gary Condit knows more about this story than he has ever let on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What aspect of this story do you believe that he knows more about that he has not let on?

DUNNE: He lied about the affair. He lied to the police, he lied to the family and especially to the family.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Trying to be objective Chad, was your father at all, do you think, responsible for his own dilemma?

CHAD CONDIT: No.

KING: How about his attitude after the story broke?

CHAD CONDIT: What attitude is that?

KING: The when he went on television that time and in the interview, and his seeming to unemotional attitude toward the death of, if not a love interest, a friend.

CHAD CONDIT: Let me say this, first of all, when he did...

KING: Certainly -- issue

CHAD CONDIT: ...when he did the interview you're talking about, we didn't know what had happened to Chandra Levy. That was in August. The police department didn't find her until a year later, basically. He's not responsible how the media overreacts, or how the media wants to create ratings or make money off the newspaper or make a juicy story. He can't control that.

He did the responsible thing and tried to -- he contacted the FBI, contacted the Washington D.C. Police Department to let them know that this girl was missing when the father contacted Gary.

So, no, I don't. I don't think he's responsible. He didn't do anything criminal. He's never been charged with anything.

KING: Cadee, do you think he did anything that he would change now, the way he handled this?

CADEE CONDIT: No.

KING: Not a thing.

CHAD CONDIT: We wouldn't have picked Connie Chung. We certainly with wouldn't have done that. But how about, do you think that the reporter such as Dominick Dunne are a little bit accountable for overreacting, for saying things that they shouldn't?

KING: I'm not discussing Dominick, I'm discussing what part of thing do you lay -- had he acted differently, do you think the public perception might have been different? He'd have won that election if not for this...

CHAD CONDIT: If Chandra wouldn't have disappeared he would have won the election, got his 80 percent...

KING: He was a popular, incumbent Congressman. So, he had to do something.

CHAD CONDIT: There were Democrats that were telling him to go out and trash Chandra at the beginning of this in June and July, because they wanted to make her look like the bad guy and ruin her reputation. He wouldn't do that. He didn't choose that course. He chose to let the investigation proceed and let the police try to do the work they were supposed to do.

KING: When stories came out about your dad, we discussed them in this show. When that girl came forward, the stewardess were you embarrassed, Cadee, for your mother?

CADEE CONDIT: My mom this is greatest girl I know. People like Ann Marie Smith make other women look bad. She had nothing to do with Chandra Levy. She had never met Chandra Levy. She has nothing to do with anything. That type of person was soaking up her 15 minutes of fame. It was uncalled for.

KING: Were you angry at your father at all?

CADEE CONDIT: No.

KING: Not at all?

CADEE CONDIT: No, I'm not angry at my dad about anything.

KING: So, if he had a relationship with someone that would not be of interest to you?

CADEE CONDIT: Well first of all, if he had a relationship with anyone I've never heard him publicly or privately admit to any of that, it would be between my mom and dad. And really, it's none of anyone's business.

KING: But you've never asked him or confronted him?

CADEE CONDIT: No.

KING: The horse whisperers -- we're going to get to this.

After Mr. Condit -- here's Mr. Condit, by the way talking about how much the horse whisperer story, and that was story where Dominick Dunne said he heard -- he got a call from someone claiming to have information, right?

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

KING: That was the horse whisperer story. Here's Gary Condit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

G. CONDIT: Along comes your guy and begins to talk about, well, Gary Condit's running for reelection, I think I'll make some trouble for him, and, you know, I think he had something to do with organizing the disappearance and murder of Chandra Levy. Throws it all back out there again.

We can't go back and correct this stuff, we can't raise money. We're back in the hole again. I have got a guy that's on Court TV, who writes books, who has legitimacy, credibility, telling people, telling people on TV that Gary Condit had Middle Eastern people organized to do away with this woman. How absurd, how lame. But it hurt and it hurt me badly. It shut me down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: See that emotion? Why didn't he ever show that? In interviews -- that human being there we see reacting in pain and anger, we never saw that.

CHAD CONDIT: Well, if you don't think Gary Condit went through pain...

KING: Oh, I see it there. But people didn't see it publicly. Wouldn't you admit that, Chad, that they didn't see it.

CHAD CONDIT: Yeah. If you want someone to cry around and whine around about the circumstances, well Gary's not the guy that you're going to vote for.

KING: But he was passionate there.

CHAD CONDIT: I think he's passionate like that all the time. I don't think -- I mean, that's just him. If you're looking for a guy to do a mea culpa and say, cry around to the voters, and say please vote for me. At the wasn't going to happen

KING: That wasn't a mea culpa there, that was emotional. He was angry and hurt by the charge and he showed it.

CHAD CONDIT: He's been angry and hurt for 4 years.

KING: I know. The question was did he show it enough?

CHAD CONDIT: I don't know that changes anything anybody said about him.

KING: Here's Dominick Dunne admitting that he was hood-winked by the so-called horse whisperer. This could be a major key. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other names of any other individuals you're aware of that were in the media?

DUNNE: I could ask around but I can't now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asserting the theory that Chandra Levy had ridden off on the back of a motorcycle?

DUNNE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that your theory now about what happened to her?

DUNNE: I don't know that I really have a theory now, after this lawsuit. I just don't know that I have a theory now, what happened to her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it wasn't the horse whisperer story, was it?

DUNNE: It sure wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You now acknowledge you got hood-winked.

DUNNE: I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That story was bogus, true?

DUNNE: Brilliantly bogus but bogus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliantly false.

DUNNE: It was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True?

DUNNE: It was the greatest storyteller I ever talked to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This case settleable, Cadee?

CADEE CONDIT: Gary's ready to go to court.

KING: He will go to court?

CADEE CONDIT: He will go to court.

KING: This trial will take place where?

CHAD CONDIT: New York.

KING: Federal court in New York, is that where it was filed?

CHAD CONDIT: Yes, sir.

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

KING: So, he doesn't want to settle at all?

CHAD CONDIT: Who, Gary?

KING: Yeah. Well, 98 percent of civil suits get settled?

CHAD CONDIT: No. I think that...

KING: I mean settled with the tabloid.

CHAD CONDIT: But -- I mean, Dominick needs to be held accountable. He needs, press people, people talking heads that go on TV and say things they really don't know anything about just for whatever benefit it brings them. Just think of this, Gary's been made to be the bad guy because he didn't show emotion, according to you.

Dominick used Chandra Levy, the murder of a young lady to promote himself, to promote himself. He gave speeches in Morocco and different states throughout the country promoting this story, this horse whisperer, this Congressman that did this and that. He used Chandra Levy's death and disappearance to try to promote himself. That's the bad guy, but yet people on your show and other shows have jumped on Gary, because he wasn't talking to them enough.

So there's needs to be some accountability from the folks that write and tell the stories.

KING: What should, as a good journalist Cadee, what should Dominick have done when he got those calls?

CADEE CONDIT: First of all, I would start with fact checking. I think it's safe to say that he did very little research. And then his source the horse whisperer was getting his information from a so- called pimp in London. It's just an outrageous story that Gary and Mike Dayton were going to Middle Eastern embassies for prostitution. He didn't fact check at all. He said he wanted to cause some trouble for Gary Condit and in his "Vanity Fair" article. He didn't like the way Gary looked. Gary didn't go by Dominick's rules of how he felt that Gary should have acted, he didn't like the way that he carried his coat. So he wanted to cause Gary some trouble.

KING: Are the depositions all done now?

CHAD CONDIT: No.

KING: They're still going on?

CHAD CONDIT: Yes.

KING: Both sides?

CADEE CONDIT: Both sides.

CHAD CONDIT: I think so.

KING: Is Gary happy with the way they're going?

CHAD CONDIT: No. He's not happy any of this. We'd rather not be in this. I mean, we're just going to tell the truth. We have the truth on our side. So it's not a fun or happy exercise but we're just going along and hopefully justice will prevail.

KING: We'll be right back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Do you think if you had been, this is in retrospect, more forceful sooner, forceful in two ways, one, coming on to plead to find her, looking more aggravated, looking more sad, I'm talking about perception now. If you'd have -- maybe not a press conference every day, but out there. You think that?

G. CONDIT: Well, maybe -- if it would have helped find Chandra, I would have done it. I mean, if I thought that would have helped find her I would have done it -- I would have had no problems doing that. I thought what I was doing was the appropriate thing to do, is to help law enforcement. I thought it was on the up and up, that they were going to go out and find her. I mean, I really thought any day they would find her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you want Mr. Condit to do?

DOMINICK DUNNE: I wanted Mr. Condit to show some concern.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How?

DUNNE: How?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

DUNNE: He had an affair with her for a year. I mean, a little thought for her, caring for her. It was just a big performance that was going on. Waving to the cameras. I thought his behavior was disgraceful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he waved at the cameras?

DUNNE: Just in his general attitude during that time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he smiled?

DUNNE: Among other things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I hear you saying this. It sounds like you didn't think Gary Condit acted right, is that what you're saying?

DUNNE: I didn't feel he felt right about her, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that make you angry?

DUNNE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's one of the things we were bringing up, the attitude which obviously you think affected Dominick Dunne, don't you think?

CHAD CONDIT: He claims that. I think the real drive behind Dominick Dunne is self-promotion and creating stories to get him on shows like yours and other avenues for him to promote himself. That's what he's all about.

KING: Are you saying your father was a pawn in this, in a man going after a story and just using your father?

CHAD CONDIT: Oh, I think many people did that but Dominick went way over board. Yes, people used Gary Condit to get on TV. They did it right here on this set.

KING: How about the police chief?

CHAD CONDIT: The police chief, Gainer. The Washington D.C. Police Department has the lowest percentage of solving cases like this, disappearances. They're a terrible terrible department at finding people and they used Gary when they couldn't solve the case. You know, there was a lot of talk about Gary impeding the investigation and so forth. In July of 2001, they had 100 cadets in Rock Creek Park. They didn't find her. They didn't find her until a year later in the same park. They don't do their job very well. And Chief Gainer who is now the head of the Capitol Hill Police Department. So he went -- with his fine work he did on this case, he got a promotion to police the Capitol. I think it's a sad testimony to how we do things. The police department should be accountable in this, too. They didn't do their job and they owe the Levys an apology.

KING: Did the chief ever implicate your father?

CADEE CONDIT: No. Gary was never a suspect.

CHAD CONDIT: They never met. They went on TV, saying this and this about Gary Condit but they never met Gary. They never bothered to go to any of the meetings. They didn't bother to do anything because the press gave them an out. Well, we can't find her, we'll just blame Gary Condit.

KING: In this clip we're going to show you from the deposition, Mr. Condit is asked about his and Chandra Levy's relationship.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congressman Condit, you indicated you were good friends with Miss Levy, correct?

G. CONDIT: We were friends, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At what point in your relationship do you believe you became good friends, after October...

G. CONDIT: Probably the first day I met her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your relationship ever become a romantic relationship?

G. CONDIT: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was your relationship what people would consider an affair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to object to the form of the question because I think it's vague and ambiguous when you say what people would consider an affair. But I also think that it's so broad it would encompass questions regarding his personal sexual conduct which I believe are privileged and are not relevant to the claim (UNINTELLIGIBLE) this case so I would instruct him not to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say you were friends did it ever become more than just friendship?

G. CONDIT: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We'll be right back with more. We'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Cadee Condit and Chad Condit, the daughter and son respectively of former Congressman Gary Condit. We're also seeing, CNN has obtained the videotaped depositions of both Gary Condit and Dominick Dunne in this now historic civil libel suit. And the trial, if held, will be -- take place probably this summer in New York, federal court, which is where it was filed, federal court in New York.

Here, Gary Condit will answer questions about his relationship with Ms. Levy and what Chandra expected from him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever indicate to you that she had feelings of affection for you?

G. CONDIT: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever indicate to you that she loved you?

G. CONDIT: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever indicate to you that she wanted to live with you?

G. CONDIT: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever discuss having a relationship that was more than friends at some future date?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: By the way, the suit is not libel but defamation and slander. Right? A lot of that is often just word play, but it's defamation of character and slander.

Your father has been ordered, though, to answer more questions about the relationship by the judge, hasn't he?

CHAD CONDIT: He's been ordered -- the deposition is going to continue, and there was a ruling by the judge that that will continue.

KING: Do you think that the judge then might be suspicious of more to the relationship?

CHAD CONDIT: I don't think so. I haven't been at the deposition. But I don't think so. I just think there was -- there's going to be some clarification on some questions that Mr. Dunne's attorney wants to ask.

KING: What do you make of the aunt who said, Cadee, that she had been told by Chandra that she was having a relationship?

CADEE CONDIT: Well, the story really doesn't add up to me, because one of the conversations that Gary had with Chandra was about, she had lost her job and Gary said, why don't you just live with -- and I don't believe that she was actually the aunt at this time, she was the uncle's girlfriend -- and Gary said, why don't you just go live with your uncle and his girlfriend? And she said, because I can't stand that woman. So I just find it a little bit odd that here she is describing a relationship.

KING: You think she was lying?

CHAD CONDIT: No, I think this was a clear -- I mean, they were trying to use every public relations stunt they could to keep the attention on finding Chandra. So they used Gary, because he is a congressman, to do that. And they get a pass. Not the aunt...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) didn't say that to the aunt?

CHAD CONDIT: Oh, I don't know. I'm just saying, the more they kept Gary out there, the more the press came and hopefully it would have found Chandra. It didn't. It just destroyed a man's career. So, you know, I don't know what the aunt did, but she's been real inconsistent.

KING: Let's take a call. Norfolk, Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Has Gary Condit ever personally spoken to Chandra Levy's parents about her disappearance and her death?

KING: I think he did, didn't he, initially?

CHAD CONDIT: We've called several times, and they weren't interested in talking to me. And he talked to the dad shortly after Gary contacted the law enforcement first, offered a reward, tried to do the appropriate things.

KING: So he did talk to the father, right, didn't he?

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

KING: OK.

CHAD CONDIT: And he's called the police department every month in 2003 and 2004, to try to find out what the progress was, and they just don't know what they're doing.

KING: The Levys were invited on tonight, and declined. Dominick Dunne also declined our invitation to discuss the lawsuit with us on this show. His attorney also declined, but did provide us with the following statement. We read it earlier. If you missed it, we have agreed to repeat it again.

"Mr. Condit's lawsuit against Mr. Dunne is built on a number of falsehoods. Mr. Dunne never called Mr. Condit a murderer. What Mr. Dunne said about him on this show on February 13th, 2002 was quote, 'I believe firmly that he knows more than what he has ever said,' end quote. That was true then and it is true now, as Condit's deposition shows. Mr. Dunne did not cause Mr. Condit to lose his primary election as Mr. Condit claims. Mr. Dunne did not cause the American people to hold a low opinion of Mr. Condit. Mr. Condit's own actions caused those things to happen. His refusal then and now to answer questions about Ms. Levy, his decision to run for office without telling his constituents what really happened and how he handled it all with the police led the American public to believe that Mr. Condit was hiding something. That is why he lost his bid for reelection, and that is why he lost the trust of the public at large. Mr. Dunne didn't cause any of that to happen. Mr. Condit did. Mr. Dunne is looking forward to a resolution of this case in his favor by the judge or by a jury."

Beverly Hills, California. Hello. Beverly Hills, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Do you think that the fact that not one of your local newspapers not only didn't endorse Gary Condit, but came out against him and that Governor Gray Davis, for whom one of you worked, didn't endorse him were much more responsible for his loss than something Dominick Dunne said?

CHAD CONDIT: I think -- first of all, you're talking about "The Modesto Bee." This is how this thing went. They started repeating the tabloid stories. So "The Bee" was in it. Certainly it hurts when your local paper doesn't endorse you. But -- and that was a factor. But Dominick was a big factor, too. And Gray Davis, we know what happened to Gray Davis. So I don't think he hurt us as much. And I would resign again. So.

KING: You resigned, right?

CHAD CONDIT: We both resigned.

KING: You both had worked for Gray Davis. Did he disappoint you?

CADEE CONDIT: Very much so.

KING: What did you want the governor to do?

CADEE CONDIT: He didn't have to do anything. He didn't have to go out and give a press conference, or anything. I didn't want him to do anything.

CHAD CONDIT: And when you read this statement from Dominick, I would just ask you respectfully, next time he's on your show if we get a statement read as well.

KING: Of course.

CHAD CONDIT: OK. Because he's been on here two or three times, and we haven't had a statement read. So.

KING: We offered him to come on, and his lawyer asked us to read a statement. We do that to try to be fair, and if he comes on, you can issue a statement and respond. Of course.

CHAD CONDIT: Yes, sir.

KING: We're always trying to be fair. We don't know the result of this. We just -- I'm just...

CHAD CONDIT: You're the mediator.

(CROSSTALK)

CHAD CONDIT: When he's on here again, we'd like a statement, too. Because last time he was on, we didn't get a statement.

KING: Did you offer us a statement?

CHAD CONDIT: No, you didn't call us and ask us.

CADEE CONDIT: I don't think the lawsuit was mentioned at all.

KING: No, and I don't think that was the subject of the interview.

CHAD CONDIT: OK.

KING: Was the lawsuit. I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

How has Gary handled all this personally? How has he taken the defeat?

CHAD CONDIT: Well, I mean, he's a survivor, but it crushed his dreams. I mean, he was in politics for 30 years, since he was 22 years old. I mean, done good work, done real good work, never lost an election. Always 70 percent on Election Day. But he's trying to bounce back and do the things and be a grandpa and do the things with Carolyn that are good things, and move on with his life.

But it was -- it's a heartaching -- my heart was broken. It's a heartaching thing, to watch your folks go through it. But Gary is a survivor, I mean, he was raised like that. So life goes on. KING: Your mom is doing OK?

CADEE CONDIT: She's doing well.

KING: Her health OK?

CADEE CONDIT: We go day by day. Her health is pretty good. It's been difficult on all of us. And we understand that every family in America goes through difficult times. And it's been hard for us. We're trying to bounce back, but the thing that hurt us the most was the murder allegations. That was very difficult on all of us.

CHAD CONDIT: And Mr. King, the old days, you would ask a guy to meet you out on Main Street. We don't do that anymore. We use the courthouse as a place of justice and fairness. That's what we're trying to exercise in doing this.

We don't think people should be able to go on TV or go out and accuse someone of murder when a girl has disappeared. We didn't know what happened to her. So if she was out there and he says it, that's a little different. But she was missing. It was a high-profile thing for him to inject himself, for anyone to inject himself and say they know what happened, or they think they know. That's just wrong, and we hope that the jury will see it that way.

KING: We'll be going to more calls. What's that pin you're wearing?

CHAD CONDIT: Breast cancer awareness, in honor of my grandma Condit and my aunt Phyllis. They both survived...

KING: Your father's mother has breast cancer?

CHAD CONDIT: She did, and she survived. And my aunt Phyllis, who is in Phoenix watching hopefully, she is a survivor.

KING: And who is she a sister of?

CHAD CONDIT: My mom. My mom...

KING: So your mother's sister and your father's mother...

CHAD CONDIT: Yes.

KING: ... both survived breast cancer?

CHAD CONDIT: Yes.

KING: We'll take a back and come back. We'll be including more of your phone calls. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying you were not held up to public contempt, hatred and ridicule prior to December 20, 2001? G. CONDIT: What I'm saying is that the tabloids, a lot of people buy them, some people read them and very few people believe them. In Mr. Dunne's case, he's a mainstream media person. A lot of people believed he was on the level and what he said was true. Fewer people believed what these tabloids said.

There's a substantial difference between Mr. Dunne and the tabloids. Mr. Dunne is mainstream media. He went on mainstream programming and called me a murderer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you said you felt like creating some trouble for Condit, what you're telling me now that you meant in making that statement, is that you accepted on the spot, to bring up Chandra Levy's name again, the forgotten missing person who had gone off the screen. Is that your testimony under oath, sir?

DUNNE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't do it to cause trouble for Gary Condit, did you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, that's been asked and answered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it hasn't been, please.

DUNNE: He's running for office again. And without mentioning this major factor of his life. And whatever, whatever, whatever, it is a major factor of his life, it will be the first line in his obituary that he had an involvement with a girl, for a year, sexual involvement, that gave her hope, something, something and she vanished. Now, he's running for office and doesn't even mention her name. And, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you did do it to create trouble for Gary Condit, is that your testimony?

DUNNE: Trouble by bringing forth this -- to remind people that this woman is still missing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: How do you react to that, Gary,

CHAD CONDIT: Chad.

KING: Chad, I'm sorry.

CHAD CONDIT: That's OK.

KING: It's hard to say Condit without saying Gary. CHAD CONDIT: Just malarkey. It's nonsense.

KING: Doesn't he have a point of your father never mentioned that he's running for office, it's the heightened thing in this is campaign.

CHAD CONDIT: He had known Chandra Levy for 5 months. You can call her major factor of his life.

KING: She's not a major factor of his life.

CHAD CONDIT: That's what Dominick said. You asked me to react to what Dominick said.

KING: He said it was major factor in the campaign that he never made a major factor. The newspaper is not endorsing him, people are not endorsing him, it's because of Chandra Levy, it's not because he never voted on a tax bill and he never mentions it.

CADEE CONDIT: He answered all questions on his campaign trail. He never went into any aspect of his personal life. But we had 20 cameras at like a sidewalk chat. I mean, never before would a camera show up. He answered -- he gave interviews every day.

CHAD CONDIT: He talked to average voters, too. But I thought Dominick said that she was a major factor in his life. I understood him to say that. He knew her for 5 months. They were friends. What happened to her was a tragedy.

But his campaign was about his public service, about what he did in the district. And that's what we tried to run on. We couldn't, because of what was going on.

KING: Are both of you convinced he did not have a sexual relationship with Chandra?

CADEE CONDIT: I'm convinced.

CHAD CONDIT: They were friends, that's what I'm convinced of.

KING: Here, Gary Condit claim comments Dominick Dunne -- Dominick made damaged his reputation. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

G. CONDIT: I want you to know, Paul, the comment that you made about that I murdered my own reputation is totally, totally unprofessional. It's a lie. And if anybody murdered my reputation, it was your client, Mr. Dunne.

And that's what people are afraid of, because he has access to the press. He's a mainstream guy. He goes on television. He talks to people. And he says things. And it hurts people. And it hurts innocent people.

So they're not going to want to talk to me. I'm tainted, I know that. He's done that.

When they accuse you of murder, other people look at you a little strange. They know -- you know, that they're going to be called to question on that as well.

So, yes, there are a lot of people that won't have anything to do with it. I know that. I've been around. I know that. He's damaged me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Merced, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi Chad, hi, Cadee, it's great to see you.

CHAD CONDIT: Hey, Lucille.

KING: Who's Lucille?

CHAD CONDIT: She helped dad in the campaign.

KING: Go ahead, dear.

CALLER: I have a question.

Well first of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to work in this campaign.

My question is, looking back, is there anything that we should have done? And being I am now working on Tom Berryhill's campaign, is there something I should do in this district? And thank you.

KING: Is Tom Berryhill going to run for that office?

CHAD CONDIT: I don't know what he's running for. He's ran for several things.

KING: What should they have don...

CHAD CONDIT: Go ahead.

KING; The question she asked, what should she have done, or the campaign done they didn't do?

CHAD CONDIT: We were handcuffed. I mean, it was a difficult election. We basically were 25 point underdog. You know what that is in football. I think we covered the spread, but that doesn't do you any good in politics. And Lucille should be proud of the work she did in Merced.

CADEE CONDIT: She's very good.

CHAD CONDIT: She was a good worker. It was one of those campaigns I think you just had to run out of principle. And Dad needed to run, because that's what he put his life and time into. It was an uphill battle clearly. If it would have been an open primary, if it would have been in June instead of March, maybe. If they would have found Chandra earlier. If the police would have done their work, it could have helped us. But Lucille, you put your heart and soul into it, and we thank you.

CADEE CONDIT: Yes. Thank you.

KING: In retrospect do you think, Cadee, you were up against it?

CADEE CONDIT: We were definitely up against a tough fight. And we were ready for the fight.

KING: To Olympia, Washington, hello.

CALLER: Yes. First of all, I want to say that I know why I think your father's responsible for Chandra Levy's death. However, can't you at least admit that if your dad had been completely honest with the police from the very beginning, the police would have been able to dismiss him as a suspect and spent all that valuable time looking for the murderers of Chandra. And I just -- no one takes responsibility. What do you think about that?

CHAD CONDIT: I think you don't know what was said in the police meetings with Gary. I think they never said he was a suspect. I think the people that made Gary the issue was the press. And they collaborated with the Washington D.C. Police Department. The police chief, Gainer, liked to see himself on TV. It was a big circus for them.

So, for you to say Gary take him self out of the picture, he was never a suspect, didn't commit the crime. He didn't keep himself in the arena, the press kept him there: the Dominick Dunnes, the Geraldo Riveras, that enjoyed doing this, kept him there and kept -- and plus, the Levys' attorney, Billy Martin. This was a PR stunt from the beginning to keep Gary out there so that the attention would focus on Chandra.

How many people ask about Chandra Levy? How many people at the D.C. Police department saying, are you going to find the murderer? Nobody is because Gary's not in Congress anymore. Nobody gives a hoot anymore. If Gary would have won we would have solved this thing because he would have been there to remind them ever day.

Now we've tried to contact them and call them, and say what's going on because not only would it be good for the Levys and much more than us, their pain is not measurable but it would be good for our family for this to be solved.

KING: Is this a cold case there?

CHAD CONDIT: I think it is.

CADEE CONDIT: It seems to be a cold case. But I'd also like to add the gentleman who said that Gary lied during the investigation, that's not true at all. The focus was on Gary press-wise and things like that. But if he would have lied during a police investigation, he'd be charged with something. He's never been charged with anything and repeatedly they've said he was not a suspect. So he never lied. I don't know where people get that he lied during..

CHAD CONDIT: They get it from Dominick Dunnes of the world. They can just create -- it's echo journalism. Somebody says something and then next day somebody else is saying it.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: A leak that says you had a physical relationship with this girl is a very damaging leak that requires a response because if you don't respond, it's like, it looks like a duck and it acts like a duck, it's probably a duck. Can't you see the public -- perception's reality?

G. CONDIT: I understand that. I understand perception's reality. I understand in politics, it's reality. The fact of the matter is, is that, you know, if you want to play this the way everybody always plays it, that's fine. But I didn't think I needed to go around responding to leaks or rumors or innuendoes or hearsays or half truths...

KING: And you don't think that even now?

G. CONDIT: No, I don't. No, I don't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Other Democrats jumped ship, too. Senator Feinstein, right?

CHAD CONDIT: Right.

KING: Didn't that hurt?

CHAD CONDIT: Certainly it hurts when an incumbent U.S. senator abandons you. But we also understand that they didn't want to feel the heat from the news media. But there was one guy and he passed just not too long ago, Bob Matsui that refused to abandon Gary and so...

KING: Bob Matsui supported him all the way?

CADEE CONDIT: Yes.

CHAD CONDIT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) when Gary cut everyone loose. He told Nancy Pelosi, all of them, you don't have to support me because of the heat they were catching from the press. Matsui said, no, I'm sticking with you. I'm with you all the way.

KING: He was some guy.

Wooster, Ohio. Hello. CALLER: Yes, thank you, Larry. I think it's admirable the way Chad and Cadee are sticking with their father. The question I have is due to the negative press and the smear campaign by the media has the Condit family had to use their own resources and spend their own money to find the real killer? Thanks.

CHAD CONDIT: Gary offered a reward for any information at the beginning. And if I had a lot of money, I would do that. I don't know how you do that without stepping on the D.C. Police Department's toes but then again they're not doing anything...

KING: Any leads? Do you have any thoughts as to who might have done this? Is there...

CHAD CONDIT: I don't know who did it. I just know Gary didn't.

KING: I mean, any thoughts? Was it a serial type thing?

CHAD CONDIT: There's different theories out there but I don't know.

CADEE CONDIT: But the guy that did it is laughing. This whole three years. I mean, someone out there knows what happened.

KING: That is true. There's somebody out there who knows. Well put. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your coming. Good luck with the ice cream.

CHAD CONDIT: Thank you.

KING: Three months they trained you.

CHAD CONDIT: Baskin-Robbins, the best ice cream in the world.

KING: And they give you a three months training institute.

CHAD CONDIT: Three months training.

KING: Like how to get the right scoop?

CHAD CONDIT: How to get the scoop and the cappuccino blast, the whole thing.

KING: Cadee and Chad Condit, the daughter and son respectively of former United States Congressman Gary Condit on the defamation slander suit against Dominick Dunne.

I'll be back to tell you about the weekend and Valentine's night right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night we'll repeat interviews with Snoop Dogg and Ryan Seacrest and Paula Abdul and on Sunday night repeat the show all about Prince Charles. And Monday night, Valentine's night, I don't know if it's an appropriate guest but he's the guest, Bill Maher will be with us on Valentine's night. There's a joke there somewhere.

But there's no joke whenever "NEWSNIGHT" is ready to take off because its host is a very serious journalist. The man about town, the rock on tour, one of our favorite people, Aaron Brown.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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