NEW YORK (AP) -A jeweler who says a rival ruined his sale of a 2.5-carat pink diamond ring that Roger Clemens was buying for his wife to celebrate his return to the New York Yankees has sued his competitor for $5.1 million.
Marshall Asnen Inc.'s court papers say Clemens had agreed to pay $750,000 for the ring until dealer Charles Krypell ``knowingly and maliciously made false and defamatory statements'' about Asnen to the major league pitcher and his wife.
Krypell, who also has done business with Clemens, told the couple Asnen ``was gouging them and making a killing at a price of $750,000,'' court papers say.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, accuses Krypell of interfering with Asnen's business by undervaluing the stone and telling the Clemenses that Ansen salesman Joshua Hyman ``had taken unfair advantage of them.''
The lawsuit says Krypell ``sold Clemens a pink diamond shortly after (Krypell) interfered with and upset the contract.'' It does not name Clemens as a defendant.
Krypell said of Marshall Asnen, whose company is named after him, ``He'll be taken care of by my attorney. My lawyer will answer him. He doesn't have a leg to stand on.''
Asnen's papers say Clemens, who had pitched for the Yankees from 1999 to 2003, decided to buy the ring after he announced in May 2007 that he had agreed to return to the team following a stint with the Houston Astros. Soon after, Clemens called Hyman to say he wanted to buy a ring for his wife.
Hyman met Clemens in Trenton, N.J., to show him the oval, purplish-pink 2.51-carat diamond. The stone was later set in platinum, and when Debbie Clemens saw it in Asnen's shop, she said she was ``thrilled,'' court papers say.
``Clemens shook Hyman's hand and said they had a deal in the presence of three other people in the room,'' say court papers.
The papers add that the right-hander told Hyman to send an invoice for $750,000 to his assistant and that he invited everybody in the room to join him and his wife for dinner at a midtown Manhattan restaurant.
In June, court papers say, Clemens killed the ring deal.
Court papers say Asnen believes ``Krypell's wrongful conduct caused the client to dishonor his promise to pay for the ring.''
Besides the $5.1 million in compensatory damages, Asnen's lawsuit asks unspecified punitive damages.
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