Roger Clemens to drop one claim against Brian McNamee


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Roger Clemens’ attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Monday that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner will drop one claim against his former trainer, Brian McNamee, but continue to pursue damages for alleged defamation.

Clemens no longer will claim the trainer committed intentional infliction of emotional distress, Hardin said. However, Hardin told The Times during a telephone interview that it ‘doesn’t mean the case will be dropped.’


Clemens sued McNamee after the trainer told George J. Mitchell that the pitcher had used performance enhancing drugs during his playing career.

U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison in Houston on Monday said he was ‘agonizing’ over the future of the Clemens-McNamee case, but no new court hearing was immediately set.

‘It was hard to read tea leaves,’ Hardin said after the court session. ‘I don’t think anyone would want to step out onto a limb about what the judge is thinking.’

But McNamee’s attorney, Richard Emery, told The Times that ‘I get the feeling [Ellison] will dismiss parts of [the lawsuit], if not all of it.’ Emery also said that the case, if not dismissed, should be moved from Texas to New York, where McNamee lives.

Emery said that the judge ‘is struggling with issues of immunity and jurisdiction, and immunity as it pertains to the Mitchell investigation is a novel issue.’ Emery claims McNamee gained ‘immunity’ because federal investigators were involved in his cooperation with Mitchell’s probe.

Hardin counters that there’s ‘not sufficient evidence’ to declare McNamee’s statements to Mitchell investigators should be protected by immunity.

‘Being compelled does not give him immunity,’ Hardin said.

Both attorneys provided updates on their clients.

McNamee is ‘trying to train people,’ Emery said, but the current economic downturn is hurting business.

Clemens is ‘doing fine, staying under the radar, going on with family and professional matters,’ Hardin said. Federal investigators continue to probe statements the Clements made when he testified that he had never used performance enhancing drugs, Hardin said, adding that ‘we’ll periodically hear they’re talking to this person or that person.’

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Roger Clemens testifying to Congress in February. Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press