Report: Roger Clemens sues Brian McNamee for defamation Print
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Sunday, 06 January 2008 22:53
MLB Headline News

 NEW YORK (AP) -Roger Clemens filed a defamation suit against former personal trainer Brian McNamee in Texas state court Sunday night, according to the Houston Chronicle, just before his interview with CBS's ``60 Minutes'' was about to air.
Clemens claims McNamee was threatened with jail if he didn't connect the pitcher to steroids, according to the suit, the Chronicle reported on its Web site early Monday. The suit was filed in Harris County civil courts, the paper said.
``All of McNamee's accusations are false and defamatory per se,'' the lawsuit said, according to the Chronicle. ``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.''
Clemens, who was scheduled to hold a late afternoon news conference Monday in Houston, asked the court to declare that he has not defamed McNamee, the paper said.
The seven-time Cy Young award winner sounded indignant and defiant in his first interview since McNamee accused him of using steroids and human growth hormone, setting up a potential confrontation if the pair testify under oath at a Jan. 16 hearing.
The most prominent player implicated in last month's Mitchell Report, Clemens steadfastly maintained his innocence and called McNamee's allegations ``totally false.''
``If he's doing that to me, I should have a third ear coming out of my forehead. I should be pulling tractors with my teeth,'' said Clemens, who wore a lavender button-down shirt during the interview, taped Dec. 28 at his home in Katy, Texas.
On Friday, when the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform invited Clemens and McNamee to testify, the pair spoke by telephone, an individual close to the situation said, speaking on condition of anonymity because public comments weren't authorized. The conversation first was reported Sunday by Newsday.
The individual would not say what was discussed.
Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin told the Chronicle that it was McNamee who arranged to talk to Clemens on Friday but instead of getting back to Clemens the conversation was leaked ``with spin'' to Newsday.
``We kept thinking McNamee might change his mind and come to his senses and admit he was lying,'' Hardin told the Chronicle.
McNamee also had been contemplating a suit.
``We welcome a lawsuit. It makes our decision easy,'' Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers said earlier Sunday. ``If he sued McNamee, it would make things very simple.''
During the ``60 Minutes'' segment broadcast Sunday night, Clemens said he might be willing to take a lie-detector test and was ``shocked'' close friend Andy Pettitte used human growth hormone. He said - again - that he probably will retire.
A fiery look in his eyes and stubble on his face, Clemens told CBS's Mike Wallace that he would have spoken with baseball drug investigator George Mitchell had he been aware McNamee accused him of using steroids and HGH.
``I thought it was an impassioned, disingenuous and desperate plea,'' said Earl Ward, McNamee's primary lawyer.
Said Hardin: ``Anyone not persuaded by that interview is not a well person.''
One of the few revelations in the much-hyped interview came when Clemens was asked whether he could conceivably take a lie detector test.
``Yeah,'' he answered. ``I don't know if they're good or bad.''
After the news conference will come the congressional hearing. Pettitte, former Yankees teammate Chuck Knoblauch and former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who allegedly supplied McNamee with performance-enhancing drugs, also were asked to appear before the committee.
Lawyers for Clemens and McNamee have said their clients are willing to testify but Hardin wouldn't commit to the date.
Emery said he wanted to hear testimony from Clemens.
``If Congress calls him, he pretty much has to take the Fifth, and if he takes the Fifth, nobody will ever believe him again and all this effort has gone down the drain,'' Emery said. ``And if he doesn't take the Fifth, it's very hard to imagine that a prosecutor isn't going to pursue this. So I think he's put himself in a terrible corner.''
Clemens said his lawyer advised him not to speak with Mitchell, who spent 20 months on his investigation.
``If I would've known what this man, what Brian McNamee (had) said in this report, I would have been down there in a heartbeat to take care of it,'' Clemens said.
Only two active players, Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas, spoke with Mitchell, a Boston Red Sox director and a former Senate majority leader.
In excerpts of the CBS interview that were released Thursday, Clemens said McNamee injected him with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine. In the full 14-minute broadcast, Clemens also said he was given an injection of toradol under the supervision of the New York Yankees.
McNamee told Mitchell he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH about 16-to-21 times during 1998, 2000 and 2001 - before baseball players and owners agreed to ban performance-enhancing substances.
Eighth on the career list with 354 wins, the 45-year-old Clemens said he was angered McNamee's accusations have been accepted as truth by some.
``It's hogwash for people to even assume this,'' Clemens said. ``Twenty-four, 25 years, Mike. You'd think I'd get an inch of respect. An inch.''
Clemens said the descriptions McNamee gave Mitchell of injections ``never happened.''
``If I have these needles and these steroids and all these drugs, where did I get 'em?'' he said. ``Where is the person out there (who) gave 'em to me? Please, please come forward.''
McNamee said he obtained the drugs from Radomski or Clemens supplied them.
``Why didn't I keep doing it if it was so good for me? Why didn't I break down? Why didn't my tendons turn to dust?'' Clemens said.
Shortly before Mitchell's findings were released Dec. 13, Clemens said McNamee e-mailed him asking where Clemens bought fishing equipment in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but never brought up the upcoming report.
McNamee told Mitchell he injected Pettitte with HGH in 2002. Pettitte issued a statement saying he took two HGH injections while rehabbing his elbow.
``I had no knowledge of what Andy was doing,'' Clemens said.
Asked why McNamee would tell the truth about Pettitte and lie about Clemens, Clemens said Pettitte's case was ``totally separate.''
``I was shocked to learn about Andy's situation,'' Clemens said. ``Had no idea about it.''
Clemens wouldn't say what penalty should be assessed on an individual found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.
``I think it's a self-inflicted penalty. They break down quick. It's a quick fix,'' he said. ``They're in and out of the game.''
Clemens also discussed his use of Vioxx, an arthritis medication withdrawn from the market in 2004 because a clinical trial revealed increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
``I was eating Vioxx like it was Skittles,'' Clemens said. ``And now - now these people who are supposedly regulating it, tell me it's bad for my heart.''
Clemens has said he was retired after each of the past four seasons but came back each time, spending three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros and then returning to the Yankees last year. He said ``you'll never see me pitch again,'' but hedged slightly and said ``probably.''
``The higher you get up on the flagpole, the more your butt shows. I understand all that,'' he said. ``But I'm tired of answering to 'em. That's probably why I will not ever play again. I don't want to answer to it. I want to slide off and be just a citizen.''
 

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