Clemens-McCready report could impact McNamee case

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 05:33 (UTC +04:00)

The legal team for former trainer Brian McNamee said Monday that Roger Clemens' decade-long relationship with a country music star could be used to discredit the pitcher's defamation suit against McNamee.

"This is going to have an impact on Roger Clemens' reputation and credibility," McNamee's lawyer, Earl Ward, said Monday. "This has opened a door. Roger Clemens has opened up a Pandora's Box."

The New York Daily News reported on its website Sunday and in Monday's newspaper that Clemens had a relationship with country music star Mindy McCready that started when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer in Fort Myers, Fla., and Clemens was with the Boston Red Sox.

The newspaper quotes several people who asked not to be identified. Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed the long-term relationship but told the newspaper it wasn't sexual. McCready's lawyer, Lee Ofman, had no comment.

"He flatly denies having had any kind of an inappropriate relationship with her," Hardin said. "He's considered her a close family friend. ... He has never had a sexual relationship with her."

McCready's mother, Gaye Inge of Fort Myers, Fla., told the Fort Myers News-Press that her daughter and Clemens were friends and that she couldn't confirm that they had a sexual relationship. "They were friends," she said. "That's about all I can tell you."

Clemens, who played for the Red Sox from 1984-96 and participated at the team's spring-training site in Fort Myers, has a pending defamation suit against McNamee in the Southern District Court of Texas in Houston.

McNamee told former senator George Mitchell's investigation into doping in baseball that he injected Clemens with steroids and human-growth hormone when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998 and New York Yankees in 2000 and '01.

Clemens has denied McNamee's claims. The two gave conflicting testimony at a February hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Washington, D.C.. The committee then sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking for an investigation into whether Clemens lied under oath.

McNamee has filed a motion to dismiss Clemens' lawsuit and to have Hardin disqualified from the case. A ruling from Judge Keith Ellison on each motion is expected soon.

McNamee's lawyers said they will investigate the relationship with McCready through the discovery process, and Richard Emery said the "stellar" reputation that Clemens says he has will be on the line. "Is he telling the truth?" Emery says.

Inge said she hopes that people focus on her daughter's future, which includes a new album and a reality show.

The Daily News reported Clemens sent money to McCready, 32, to help her with legal issues and reached out to her when she was in jail last year in Tennessee. She was sentenced in September for violating probation from a 2004 drug arrest and was released from jail Dec. 30.

The violation occurred in July when McCready was accused of scuffling with her mother and resisting arrest at her mom's home in Fort Myers. McCready must serve two years of probation.

McCready had a No. 1 single in 1996 with Guys Do It All the Time. (USA Today)