Suing the News Media in the Age of Tabloid Journalism: L. Lin Wood and the Battle for Accountability

March 17, 2006

On March 14, 2005, Gary A. Condit settled a high-profile, $11 million defamation1 lawsuit2 against celebrity author Dominick Dunne based upon accusations by Dunne that the former U.S. Congressman from California was responsible for the death of intern Chandra Levy in Washington, D.C.

Dunne, a Vanity Fair correspondent who is, as Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington Law School once put it, “famous for combining breathless gossip with breast-beating condemnations of anyone suspected of a crime,” had concocted a bizarre story about Condit, Levy, an Arab procurer and a horse whisperer that he relayed on several media outlets and that suggested Condit had Levy killed.