Condit's Wife Can Sue for Libel

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Condit's Wife Can Sue for Libel

By Brian Melley
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, July 10, 2002; 10:52 PM

FRESNO, Calif. ?? The wife of Rep. Gary Condit can pursue her $10 million defamation suit against the National Enquirer over a headline that said she attacked Chandra Levy, a judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger rejected the tabloid's arguments to dismiss Carolyn Condit's lawsuit. The story was published last summer after the former Washington intern vanished.

The Enquirer published headlines on its Web site in July and on its Aug. 7 front page that said: "Cops: Condit's Wife Attacked Chandra."

The publication reported that Carolyn Condit called her husband's Washington condominium from her home and "flew into a rage" during a "heated phone screamfest" with Levy. The story, based on an unidentified source, said the confrontation occurred just before Levy vanished.

Carolyn Condit said she never met Levy or spoke with her. Washington police have said there was no truth to the report.

In his 52-page decision, the judge said the headlines could be interpreted to mean that Condit physically attacked Levy. He rejected the Enquirer's claim that the statements were not defamatory, but said a jury would have to decide.

Levy's skeletal remains were found May 22 in a Washington, D.C., park. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police have said the Democratic congressman was not a suspect in her disappearance.

© 2002 The Associated Press
 


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