Former personal trainer Brian McNamee has asked a US court to throw out Roger Clemens' defamation suit and to disqualify the star pitcher's lead attorney.
|Roger Clemens facing a perjury investigation |
Major League Baseball star Clemens claims he was defamed when McNamee, his former trainer, said Clemens used steroids and human growth hormone from 1998-2001.
McNamee's lawyers filed motions in U.S. District Court in Houston saying that because McNamee's statements to baseball investigator George Mitchell were part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, anything McNamee said to Mitchell was covered by "absolute immunity."
"Rather than acknowledging the truth of Mr. McNamee's allegations, Mr. Clemens has chosen to wage a public-relations battle against Mr. McNamee in the media and the Halls of Congress," the motion stated.
At the request of U.S. Congress, the FBI is investigating whether Clemens lied when he repeated denials under oath last month.
Perhaps setting up grounds for a countersuit, the motion said McNamee's "financial status has rapidly deteriorated."
Clemens' lead lawyer Rusty Hardin said "Brian McNamee's statements to the Mitchell commission and others concerning steroid and HGH use by Roger Clemens are absolutely false and the very definition of defamatory."
"We look forward to trying this matter before a jury rather than in the court of public opinion."
McNamee's lawyers asked that Hardin be removed from the case because he also represented New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte for a period last year.
Pettitte admitted using HGH and had claimed that his former Yankees teammate Clemens had talked of using the drug, something Clemens denies.
"Continuing to represent Mr. Clemens would violate Mr. Hardin's duty of loyalty to Mr. Pettitte," McNamee's papers said.
Hardin brushed aside that argument.
"I intend to continue representing Roger in this case, and will file an appropriate response to this motion with the court," Hardin said.