^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Steroids and Roger Clemens: The Legal Battle Continues...

Yes, it's been awhile since we've had any news out of the Roger Clemens steroid matter. But lost amidst all of the election stories and news this week was a Monday hearing in Houston regarding Rocket's defamation lawsuit that he filed against Brian McNamee, the former trainer who claims to have supplied and injected Clemens with steroids and HGH.

Federal Judge Keith Ellison wanted to hear more arguments from attorneys for both sides on the matters of whether Clemens' suit should be dismissed, and if not dismissed, whether the suit was filed in the proper jurisdiction.

The issue for dismissal comes from McNamee's attorneys claiming McNamee is immune from a defamation suit over these statements because they were made in the course of a federal investigation. McNamee's attorneys claim, rightly, that statements made as part of a federal investigation are protected from such suits. The issue, however, is whether McNamee's statements to George Mitchell as part of baseball's investigation into steroid usage are also protected.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Clemens' attorneys -- but not Rusty Hardin who was too busy to appear -- argue that statements to private individuals into private matters are not worthy of the governmental immunity. McNamee's attorneys countered -- with what I believe will ultimately be the winning argument -- that McNamee was compelled or ordered by the government to speak to Mitchell, and that if he did not, the agreement he made with the feds for immunity from prosecution would be withdrawn: "McNamee cooperated with Mitchell because that was deemed part of the agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office," McNamee's attorneys said.

But I'll be honest here. I don't think there's any way Clemens can win this suit, anyway. He's got to be able to prove that McNamee was lying. And he doesn't have that proof -- if he did that have that proof, we would have seen it already. And even if he could prove that, Clemens has to prove -- since he's a public figure -- that McNamee acted with malice.

And frankly, from the way the Feds were leaning on McNamee, I don't think it's possible to prove malice. But I've been wrong before, and I could be wrong again. – John Royal

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.