(NEW YORK) — Former California congressman Gary Condit appeared on Dr. Phil Thursday to tell his side of the story on the unsolved disappearance and murder of 24-year-old Washington, D.C. intern Chandra Levy.
Condit, 68, refused to answer the question posed by Dr. Phil host Phil McGraw as to whether or not he had a sexual relationship with Levy, who was from Condit’s Congressional district.
“I haven’t answered that question publicly in 15 years and I’m not going to change my position or my view on that today or probably any time in the future,” Condit said.
Levy was an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2001 when she disappeared while jogging. Her remains were found a year later in a remote area of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park.
A married man, Condit admitted to police, according to investigators at the time, that he had had an affair with Levy, but denied any connection to her disappearance. Condit was investigated but never charged in connection with the case.
Condit stumbled when questioned by McGraw about how many times Levy visited his condo while she interned in Washington, D.C.
Condit first told McGraw she came by his condo “once” and then said “maybe twice.”
When McGraw noted that Condit’s book stated Levy came by his condo a handful of times, Condit said Levy could have come by as many as five times.
“I mean, I said, ‘Handful of times.’ It could have been four times, could have been five,” he said.
Condit’s new book, Actual Malice: A True Crime Political Thriller, tells his version of events in the Levy case.
Breton Peace, Condit’s co-author, sat alongside him throughout the Dr. Phil appearance. Peace told McGraw he thought readers would conclude there was a sexual relationship between Condit and Levy.
When asked about giving Levy a gift, Condit told McGraw he treated Levy as he would any other constituent.
“In my desk I kept gifts,” Condit said. “We’d pick up cuff links, lapel pins, and my wife had picked up some bracelets, you know, for people’s birthdays. Kids would come in and I’d say, ‘Pick a hat.'”
“Chandra came into my office and had a gift for me, which was chocolates,” Condit explained. “I opened my drawer and reached in and said, ‘We have one for you.'”
The McGraw interview marks the first time Condit, 68, has spoken about the case since an August 2001 interview with Connie Chung on ABC. In that interview, Condit answered, “No, I did not,” when asked by Chung whether he had killed Levy.
Ingmar Guandique, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010 and sentenced to 60 years in prison, but his conviction was later overturned and a retrial ordered last year. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia then dismissed all charges against Guandique this past July after the office concluded that “it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Authorities say the jailhouse confession on which the original conviction was based came from an unreliable witness.
Levy’s mother, Susan Levy, told ABC News she believes Condit was “not being forthright” when it came to explaining his interactions with her daughter on “Dr. Phil”, specifically Levy’s visits to Condit’s condo.
“Internally, I have a lot of pain and I still will always have questions,” Susan Levy said.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.