WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit sued the National Enquirer and other tabloids for $209 million on Friday, alleging they had falsely connected him with the 2001 murder of federal intern Chandra Levy.
Condit alleges that the Enquirer, Globe and Star magazine tabloids, along with parent company American Media Inc., maliciously published defamatory statements about him.
He says the tabloids conveyed that he "was involved in deviant and perverted sexual conduct, which directly or indirectly led to the kidnapping and/or murder of Ms. Levy," according to the suit filed in Palm Beach County circuit court.
AMI General Counsel Mike Kahane said that the company would "vigorously defend any suit filed by Mr. Condit."
The suit claims the tabloids failed to reasonably investigate the stories and paid sources for the false statements.
Condit is asking for $19 million in actual damages, plus $190 million in punitive damages.
Condit is not considered a suspect in Levy's death, which was ruled a homicide after her remains were found in a Washington, D.C., park in May 2002.