On Tuesday, Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young award winning pitcher, and Brian McNamee, the trainer who testified about injecting Clemens with steroids, met to discuss a possible conclusion to McNamee’s defamation lawsuit against Clemens. A federal judge in Brooklyn asked them to try to negotiate a settlement, and they met in his chambers.
McNamee’s lawyer told the Associated Press that this was the first time the two men had been in the same room (other than for court appearances) since at least 2007. December 2007, if you’ll remember, was when the Mitchell Report dropped, telling the world that Clemens used perform enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone and testosterone. McNamee, an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Yankees from 2000 to 2001, provided the information about Clemens.
Clemens denied using PEDs. In January 2008, he sued McNamee for defamation. Less than a year later, McNamee sued Clemens for defamation. The counter-suit claimed that the pitcher launched an “intense and coordinated public relations offensive” against the trainer following the Mitchell Report’s release.
McNamee’s suit has outlived the other related cases. A judge dismissed Clemens’s suit in August 2009. In 2012, a criminal court jury in Washington acquitted him of lying to Congress about taking PEDs. (Prosecutors had built their case around McNamee’s testimony.)
The latest chapter of court battle involves Clemens’s email account. McNamee’s lawyers filed a motion seeking thousands of emails, including from the months after the Mitchell Report. Clemens’s lawyers have resisted, arguing that many of the messages are protected by lawyer-client confidentiality. A magistrate judge ruled with McNamee. Since then, Clemens’s team “has chosen to file frivolous motions and appeals to perpetuate the delay of this five-year-old litigation,” Judge Sterling Johnson wrote in an order filed on Monday.
When Clemens and McNamee appeared before Johnson on Tuesday, the judge called both sides into his chamber for settlement negotiations.
And the legal fight will continue. Clemens and McNamee left the courthouse without an agreement. Their next hearing is scheduled for June 10.
Send story tips to the author, Albert Samaha