Condit's wife says 'Law & Order' defamed her
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Rep. Gary Condit's wife, Carolyn, is demanding an apology from the NBC show "Law & Order," saying the episode that aired February 6 defamed her.
The episode depicted a story similar to the case of missing 24-year-old Washington intern Chandra Levy.
Carolyn Condit's attorney, Brian Rishwain, argued in a letter sent to NBC February 26 that the episode was defamatory because "it implied that Mrs. Condit was somehow involved in Chandra Levy's disappearance, and that Mrs. Condit spoke to Miss Levy on the telephone."
He demanded a retraction at the start of the next episode of the show.
The letter, which also was sent to the show's producer, Studios USA, denied Carolyn Condit ever spoke with Levy and said, "NBC has no factual basis to imply that Mrs. Condit had anything to do with Chandra Levy."
"We have received a letter," said Neil Schurbert, spokesman for Studios USA. "We are responding. We believe that there is no basis for her claims. 'Law and Order' is fictional."
"Law & Order," which has been running on NBC for 12 years, promotes itself by saying its stories have "been ripped from the headlines."
The February 6 episode, titled "Missing," gave an account that mirrored the story of Levy, last seen in Washington last spring. The wife in the episode was depicted as playing a key role in the case.
District of Columbia police said last year they found no evidence of wrongdoing in the Levy case; they never named any suspects.
Condit emerged as a pivotal figure because of his relationship with Levy. He refused to publicly describe it, but police sources said the married congressman and grandfather admitted to an affair with the young woman during an interview with investigators.
The political fallout from the scandal has been cited as the main reason that Condit lost his district's Democratic primary Tuesday. He has served seven terms in Congress.
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