Roger Clemens Files Defamation Suit Against Brian McNamee
Roger Clemens has filed a defamation suit against former trainer, Brian McNamee. The suit was filed on the same night that Clemens’ 60 Minutes interview aired.
Leading up the airing of the 60 Minutes interview, lawyers for both Clemens and McNamee had said that each might file a lawsuit against the other. It appears Clemens has beat McNamee to the punch.
As expected the suit (view PDF) basically says that the information McNamee provided to federal investigators and then Mitchell investigators, specifically the he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, is completely untrue. The suit lists 15 statements made by McNamee which the suit claims are “untrue and defamatory.” The suit asks that a jury decide the damages citing the following.
“All of McNamee’s accusations are false and defamatory per se… They are not true, and they injured Clemens’ reputation and exposed him to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, and financial injury. McNamee made the allegations with actual malice, knowing they were false.”
The suit’s main assertion is that McNamee implicated Clemens only after intense pressure from federal authorities and cooperated with Mitchell only after similar pressure. It essentially argues that McNamee lied due to pressure from federal agents and in an effort to avoid jail time for himself.
It contains this quote attributed to McNamee, contradicting a statement made by one of McNamee’s lawyers to the New York Daily News that “(investigators) didn’t bully (McNamee). They allowed him to speak. It wasn’t contentious.”
It’s unclear where the following quote comes from, but if accurate it’s an interesting insight into the interrogation.
Listen, Brian—this is [Assistant United States Attorney Matthew] Parrella—he goes, “You have three strikes to go to jail.” He goes – he goes, “You know, you’re a cop.” He goes, “You picked up steroids and you delivered steroids. That’s a federal crime.” He goes, “And if you lie to a federal agent, you go to jail.” He goes, “I’m going to tell you” — my attorney just sat there. He goes, “Yesterday, you took two steps back” – no. “You have two strikes against you to go to jail. You have one more strike.” All right. So, then, they recapped what we were talked about that day and then – the day before. And, then, right away, “So what about Clemens?” “Well what do you mean?” [IRS Special Agent] Novitzky went on this big tirade because it was the biggest embarrassing thing I’ve ever heard from anybody. He’s trying to tell me that I – that how can I tell him that I don’t know anything about steroids and Clemens with, first of all, what they know and then also I must not be good at what I do because I stretch him and I train him; so if I put my hands on his body, how can I not know that his body is changing by taking steroids. And then, he threw a piece of paper at me and he goes, “Do you know how many people we’ve talked to?” Parrella jumped in. He goes, “We know about [sic] more about you than you know about yourself.” He goes, “You’re going to jail.” My attorney just sat there. And they said, “Let’s go back to when you first met Clemens in ’98.”
In spite of the contradiction, ultimately it’s hard to say if this is evidence toward McNamee’s lying or telling the truth.
Earlier in the day one of McNamee’s lawyers, Richard Emery, said he would welcome a lawsuit.
“We welcome a lawsuit. It makes our decision easy… If he sued McNamee, it would make things very simple.”
As previously reported, in the Mitchell report McNamee claims to have injected Clemens with anabolic steroids or human growth hormone in 1998, 2000, and 2001 during Clemens’ time with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees.