As happened so many times in his career, when it came to clutch time, Roger Clemens has failed to deliver. U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison today dismissed most of Roger Clemens' defamation suit against Brian McNamee, Clemens' former trainer.
Ellison partially dismissed the suit on jurisdictional issues, ruling that because McNamee's statements to George Mitchell's investigators were made in New York, and that McNamee's follow-up press statements to Sports Illustrated reporter Jon Heyman were also made in New York, the proper venue for this case is actually in New York, and thus cannot be litigated in Texas. But in a more devastating blow for Clemens, Ellison's ruling stated that McNamee's statements about Roger Clemens to George Mitchell's investigators were part of an ongoing federal investigation and could therefore not be the basis of a defamation suit against McNamee.
Eillison did not completely dismiss Clemens' case against McNamee. He let stand Clemens' claim that McNamee defamed Clemens in Texas when he twice told Andy Pettitte that Clemens was using steroids and HGH. However, seeing as how Pettitte has stated under oath that Clemens was indeed using performance enhancing drugs, it's doubtful that Clemens has much of a chance of winning since truth is the ultimate defense in a defamation lawsuit.
Rusty Hardin, Clemens' attorney, is strangley silent at the moment, and has not responded to media enquiries. Neither has Clemens. Earl Ward, one of Brian McNamee's attorneys, said that "We got almost exactly what we wanted...This lawsuit was always a cheap public relations ploy anyway."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.