Former California Congressman Gary Condit is speaking out publicly for the first time in 15 years about the case that rocked Capitol Hill. Chandra Levy, the D.C Federal Bureau of Prisons intern, went missing in 2001, and her remains were later found in a local park in 2002.
Condit was never named a suspect by police, but the media laser focused on what Condit says was a friendship. Condit opens up to Dr. Phil in an exclusive interview about Levy's case and how his personal relationship with Levy placed him into the center of a media firestorm.
"She came to the office periodically and we became friends," says Condit, who represented a district in California, where Levy was from. "There's nothing strange about this. If you came to my congressional office, and particularly if you came from California ... we rolled out the red carpet." He continues, "Everyone that comes in from my district or from California, I'd give them a phone number and say, 'If you need anything, call us and let us know.' That was a constituent service."
389495 01: (FILE PHOTO) Chandra Ann Levy of Modesto, CA poses in this undated file photo. Levy vanished April 30, 2001 after completing a federal internship in Washington, DC. Cogressman Gary Condit (D-CA), said to have had an affair with missing intern Chandra Levy, will speak about the case for the first time publicly August 23, 2001 in a televised interview with ABC''s Connie Chung. (Photo by Getty Images)
392014 06: Congressmen Gary Condit (D-CA), left, and Congressmen Charles W. Stenholm (D-TX) attend a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill July 17, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
405713 01: Stanislaus County Sheriff officers stand guard in front of Robert and Susan Levy's home May 22, 2002 in Modesto, CA. Skeletal remains found in a Washington D.C. park may be those of missing intern Chandra Levy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
390919 03: Susan Levy, the mother of missing intern Chandra Levy, wipes away tears at a press conference to announce the campaign to upgrade Chandra''s status beyond that of a missing person June 21, 2001 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. Chandra Levy, an intern with the bureau of prisons who disappeared seven weeks ago, has been linked with California Representative Gary Condit. (Photo by Greg Whitesell/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, (D/CA), attends agriculture committee meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 17, 2001. While there has been no evidence linking Condit to [Chandra Levy's disappearance 11 weeks ago] and police stress he is not a suspect in the case, there has been plenty of public criticism of Condit, 53, who is married, because he reportedly had a romantic relationship with 24-year-old woman and was initially less than open with police investigators about it.
391967 01: Washington, DC police officials converse before searching Rock Creek Park for missing intern Chandra Levy, July 16, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: Washington DC police search an abandoned building with a cadaver sniffing dog in Washington DC 12 July, 2001, for missing intern Chandra Levy. Washington Police late 10 July searched the home of California congressman Gary Condit, who admitted to having an affair with the government intern missing since 30 April. AFP PHOTO/ MANNY CENETA (Photo credit should read MANNY CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)
MODESTO, CA - MAY 28: Photographs of Chandra Levy are displayed during a memorial for her at the Modesto Centre Plaza 28 May, 2002 in Modesto, CA. Levy, a young Washington DC intern whose remains were found in a wooded area in Washington, DC more than a year after she disappeared, was murdered, the city's medical examiner said 28 May, warning that authorities may never know how. (Photo credit should read DEBBIE NODA/AFP/Getty Images)
391458 03: Supporters of Chandra Ann Levy march in the Independence Day parade July 4, 2001 in Modesto, CA. Levy, a constituent of U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, has not been seen since April 30, 2001 after she finished an internship at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Condit skipped the Fourth of July parades he usually attends in central California. (Photo by Jason Kirk/Getty Images)
392039 02: Demonstrators calling for U.S. Rep. Gary Condit''s resignation July 17, 2001 during a protest outside his office in Modesto, CA. Congressman Condit reportedly had an affair with missing intern Chandra Levy that has drawn national attention. (Photo by Getty Images)
390265 04: FILE PHOTO: Congressman Gary A. Condit attends the tax bill signing ceremony June 7, 2001 at the White House in Washington, DC. Condit reportedly admitted for the first time to investigators on July 7, 200 that he had a romantic relationship with missing former intern Chandra Levy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
391491 01: The home of Dr. Robert and Susan Levy July 5, 2001 in Modesto, CA. Chandra Ann Levy, the daughter of Robert and Susan Levy, just finished an intership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and was expected to return to Modesto for her college graduation, when she disappeared April 30, 2000. (Photo by Jason Kirk/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Washington Metropolitan Police officers secure the perimeter 23 May 2002 around the area where the remains of Chandra Levy were found at the Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. Police identified 22 May the remains of Levy, the 24-year-old Washington intern whose disappearance over a year ago ended the career of a US congressman under a cloud of scandal. A man walking his dog discovered skeletal remains and clothing early 22 May in a heavily wooded area in the park, located about 4 miles from where Levy used to live. AFP PHOTO/ Shawn THEW (Photo credit should read SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)
391844 01: Washington, DC police officers John Hansohn, left, and Mark Saunders walk toward the entrance to an abandon building during a search for missing inter Chandra Levy July 12, 2001 in Washington, DC. The DC Police are searching for Levy in all abandon buildings in NW Washington. (Photo by Shawn Thew/Getty Images)
391967 04: A police officer searches Rock Creek Park for missing intern Chandra Levy, July 16, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
391967 08: Sergeant Robert Panizari briefs reporters about the ongoing search in Rock Creek Park for missing intern Chandra Levy, July 16, 2001 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey (C) confirms 22 May 2002 in Washington, DC, that the human remains found in Rock Creek Park are those of missing intern Chandra Levy. The 24-year-old Californian had served as an intern at the Bureau of Prisons and disappeared without leaving any hint as to here whereabouts 30 April 2001. AFP PHOTO/Shawn THEW (Photo credit should read SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey (C) confirms 22 May 2002 in Washington, DC, that the human remains found in Rock Creek Park are those of missing intern Chandra Levy. The young Californian had served as an intern at the Bureau of Prisons and disappeared without leaving any hint as to here whereabouts 30 April 2001. AFP PHOTO/Shawn THEW (Photo credit should read SHAWN THEW/AFP/Getty Images)
MODESTO, CA - MAY 28: Chandra Levy's bother, Adam Levy (L), her mother Susan Levy (C) and father Robert Levy (R) link arms as they enter the Modesto Centre Plaza for the memorial service for Chandra Levy 28 May 2002 in Modesto, California. Chandra Levy, the young Washington intern whose remains were found in a wooded area more than a year after she disappeared, was murdered, the city's medical examiner said 28 May 2002, warning that authorities may never know how. (Photo credit should read DEBBIE NODA/AFP/Getty Images)
391473 02: A sign about missing intern Chandra Ann Levy hangs on the door to the office of Rep. Gary Condit (D-California) July 4, 2001 in Modesto, CA. Levy''s disappearance came into the national spot light because of her relationship with Condit. (Photo by Jason Kirk/Getty Images)
393627 04: Sarah Martin reads a letter that she received from Congressman Gary Condit August 23, 2001 in Modesto, California. The congressman mailed more than 200,000 letters to his constituents in California''s 18th Congressional District explaining his actions surrounding the disappearance of Chandra Levy. (Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
393639 02: Patrons watch ABC''s interview with Gary Condit on a television at Live Bait bar August 23, 2001 in New York City. Condit admitted that he had a close relationship with Chandra Levy but denied he had anything to do with her disappearance. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Dr. Jonathan L. Arden (L), Chief Medical Examiner, announces his findings on the remains of Chandra Levy at the Office of the Medical Examination 28 May 2002 in Washington, DC. Chandra Levy, the young Washington intern whose remains were found in a wooded area more than a year after she disappeared, was murdered, the city's medical examiner said 28 May, warning that authorities may never know how. 'It is possible we may never know specifically the cause of her death,' Doctor Jonathan Arden told reporters. 'There is no specific injury that leads to a conclusion as to a cause of death.' AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Susan Levy of Modesto, California, holds a portrait of her daughter
Chandra as she talks to the press before the start of the "Vigil of
Hope" march for families of missing persons and homicide victims in
Modesto on April 26, 2003. Chandra went missing from her apartment in
Washington, DC, in 2001 and her remains were found in 2002. Earlier
this month the body of missing Modesto resident Laci Peterson and her
unborn son Connor were found in the San Francisco Bay. Laci's husband
Scott Peterson has been charged with their murder. REUTERS/Susan Ragan
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Dr. Phil asks, "But your friendship developed from there?"
"Yeah, she came by periodically," says Condit, who co-wrote with Breton Peace a new book called "Actual Malice: A True Crime Political Thriller." "She contacted me and asked for assistance and stuff. But I want to make something clear. Chandra did not work for me. She was an intern and then ultimately became an employee at the prison bureau."
Asked if they connected outside the office, Condit replies, "I saw her one time outside the office at a restaurant and she came by my condo once."
Dr. Phil follows up, "She came by your condo once?" "Maybe twice," Condit says. "I think it was twice she came by. Once again, I want to make this clear: There's nothing unusual about someone coming by my condo. A lot of people did. People have made some speculation that that means something special ... Both times she had a valid reason to come by."
In the video above, Condit describes the "big leap" that investigators made based on Condit's friendship with Levy. Dr. Phil's exclusive interview with Condit airs on Thursday.
Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran illegal immigrant, was convicted of and sentenced to 60 years in prison for Levy's murder. While he was granted a new trial in June of 2015, the U.S. Attorney's Office has dropped the charges, saying "that it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt."