Before the 2001 disappearance of his alleged mistress Chandra Levy, former California congressman Gary Condit was beloved in his home state. But after the sex scandal exploded in 2001, the married father of two was the most hated man in the country, he claims in his new memoir, Actual Malice.
Though he professed his innocence in the case — and refused to comment on rumors of his sordid trysts with Levy, a 24-year-old government intern — he lost his fortune, job, and was "abandoned" by his "closest friends" and Washington, D.C. colleagues.
According to his co-writer Breton Peace, Condit, now 68, spent "full days alone" for most of 2003, "disappearing into the Central Valley on his motorcycle" and even taking days-long trips to Montana from his native Ceres, California.
The disgraced politician "slept a lot" and "ate very little," the author continued — and began suffering night terrors and shouting nonsense in his sleep.
"I'm not going to wrestle with you!" his wife Carolyn heard him scream one night while sweating and breathing heavily. "It is my choice. Guilt is something other people make you feel. I gave that up a long time ago."
Years later, while living in Arizona, Condit told his co-author that he suffered from depression.
"Something just comes over me…I'm not sure what it is. But I don't wrestle it. So I tell whatever it is that it can stay, but I won't wrestle," he explained to Peace.
"I live with my mistakes…I don't need to wrestle with judgment anymore. If I did, it would break me."
Condit was never charged with a crime in the murder, and was ruled out as a suspect by authorities.
Years later, in 2010, Salvadorian immigrant Ingmar Guandique was convicted of murdering Levy, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
However, he was granted a new trial in 2015. In a shocking twist, prosecutors announced that they intended to drop the charges in July.
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