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Clemens adds claim to defamation suit

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Ronald Blum
Associated Press / May 28, 2008

NEW YORK - Roger Clemens amended his defamation suit against Brian McNamee yesterday, adding a new claim of "intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Clemens's attorneys also filed a 39-page response to the motion to dismiss that McNamee's lawyers made March 4.

Clemens claims McNamee, his former personal trainer, was "malicious and grossly negligent" when McNamee told baseball investigator George Mitchell last year Clemens had used steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens also said McNamee defamed him when he repeated his accusations to SI.com.

Much of the filing was filled with the legal rationale for why a Texas court should have jurisdiction over McNamee, a New York resident.

"When a person who is not a resident of the state of Texas intentionally defames a Texas resident, it is fair and should be expected that they have to defend their conduct in a Texas court before a Texas jury," Joe Roden, one of Clemens's lawyers, said in a telephone interview.

One of the justifications is that McNamee made allegedly false statements to Andy Pettitte, Clemens's former Houston Astros and New York Yankees' teammate, while in Texas.

"McNamee falsely told Pettitte during a conversation in Clemens's home gym in Houston, Texas in 1999 or 2000 that Clemens had used HGH," the papers said. "And McNamee also falsely told Pettitte at Pettitte's home gym in Deer Park, Texas in 2003 or 2004 that Clemens had used steroids.

"The false accusations made by McNamee that Clemens used steroids and HGH unfairly and improperly link Clemens's performance as a pitcher in 1998, 2000, and 2001 to the use of steroids and/or HGH during that time. This link is untrue and maliciously ignores Clemens's consistent record-setting performances before and after this period of time."

US District Judge Keith P. Ellison ruled May 6 against McNamee's attempt to remove Clemens's lead lawyer, Rusty Hardin.

Hardin represented both Clemens and Pettitte for several days before the release of the Mitchell Report, and McNamee's attorneys said they felt that would be a conflict.

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