Clemens' lawyers don't want McNamee defamation suit dismissed

Updated: May 27, 2008, 10:58 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Roger Clemens added a new claim of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" on Tuesday to his defamation suit against Brian McNamee.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner said McNamee, his former personal trainer, was "malicious and grossly negligent" when McNamee told baseball investigator George Mitchell last year that Clemens had used steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens also said McNamee defamed him when he repeated his accusations to SI.com.

"McNamee's false accusations have accomplished their purpose of destroying Clemens' good reputation and making him the subject of scorn and ridicule throughout Texas," said the papers, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Houston.

Clemens asked for compensatory and punitive damages plus legal fees from McNamee, who has said he has little money.

Much of the filing was filled with the legal rationale for why a court in Texas should have jurisdiction over McNamee, a New York resident. A 354-game winner, Clemens cited a "Texas long-arm statute" that he said gives the court jurisdiction because McNamee did business in Texas.

McNamee's lawyers asked March 4 that the suit be dismissed.

"When a person who is not a resident of the state of Texas intentionally defames a Texas resident, it is fair and should be expected that they have to defend their conduct in a Texas court before a Texas jury," Joe Roden, one of Clemens' lawyers, said in a telephone interview.

Richard Emery, an attorney for McNamee, accused Rusty Hardin, Clemens' lead lawyer, of attempting "to fill the holes in his case."

"I don't think he's done it successfully, but we probably will have to respond now with a new motion to dismiss," Emery said. "It just simply lengthens and complicates."

One of the justifications Clemens' side made for jurisdiction in Texas is that McNamee allegedly made defamatory statements to Andy Pettitte, Clemens' former Houston Astros and New York Yankees' teammate, while in Texas.

"McNamee falsely told Pettitte during a conversation in Clemens's home gym in Houston, Texas in 1999 or 2000 that Clemens had used HGH," the papers said. "And McNamee also falsely told Pettitte at Pettitte's home gym in Deer Park, Texas in 2003 or 2004 that Clemens had used steroids.

"The false accusations made by McNamee that Clemens used steroids and HGH unfairly and improperly link Clemens's performance as a pitcher in 1998, 2000, and 2001 to the use of steroids and/or HGH during that time. This link is untrue and maliciously ignores Clemens's consistent record-setting performances before and after this period of time."

U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison ruled May 6 against McNamee's attempt to remove Hardin, who represented both Clemens and Pettitte for several days before the release of the Mitchell report. McNamee's attorneys felt that could be a conflict.

Clemens originally filed the suit in January in Texas state court. It was moved to federal court the following month at the request of McNamee's lawyers.

"I still don't think they have anything that he did in Texas which is actionable," Emery said. "But they are making arguments that we have to respond to, and we will."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE