Roger Clemens in NY court for settlement talks on legal battle
Former pitcher Roger Clemens and his onetime strength coach came face-to-face on Tuesday in a bid to settle their long-running legal dispute, but they emerged from a closed-door meeting without a deal.
A judge had summoned Clemens and Brian McNamee to federal court in Brooklyn for settlement talks aimed at heading off a trial in the defamation case. McNamee’s lawyer emerged saying an agreement wasn’t likely.
"I think this is a case where the lines are deeply drawn in the sand," said attorney Richard Emery. "I certainly expect there’s going to be a trial in this case."
It was the first time Clemens and McNamee had been in a private setting opposite each other at a conference table since at least 2007, Emery said. His client, he added, has struggled in recent years with health and financial problems.
Clemens and his attorneys left the courthouse on Tuesday without speaking to reporters.
U.S. Magistrate Cheryl Pollak ruled previously that Clemens has to turn over thousands of emails and other documents to McNamee. She agreed on Tuesday to examine the material to determine whether or not it was protected by lawyer-client privilege, as Clemens’ lawyers contend. Another hearing was set for June 10.
McNamee’s 2009 federal lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges Clemens launched an "intense and coordinated public relations offensive" against McNamee after the trainer told federal investigators and Congress that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 through 2001.
The suit quotes Clemens saying in a YouTube video in 2007 that McNamee "did not inject steroids into my body either when I played in Toronto for the Blue Jays or the New York Yankees." It also cites an interview with ESPN in May in which Clemens, when asked about McNamee, responded that it was a case of "somebody out there that is really crawling up your back to make a buck."
In 2012, a Washington jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress about steroids and human growth hormone. He had adamantly denied using either substance at a 2008 congressional hearing. The prosecution’s case relied heavily on the testimony of McNamee, who told jurors he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH many times.
Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who also pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros.