Three Strikes? Roger Clemens Admits to Adultery But Denies Statutory Rape

Baseball star Roger Clemens has admitted to a series of extra-marital affairs while denying statutory rape allegations with 15-year-old country singer Mindy McCready. With Clemens facing both a criminal investigation and a civil lawsuit (that he filed against former trainer Brian McNamee), this may be only the first of such revelations.

Previously, I expressed some surprise over the decision of Clemens to file his lawsuit in light of the exposure presented by civil discovery, here. He has faced some contradictions, as here.

The recent scandal was triggered by a story in The News. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper claimed that Clemens had a 10-year affair with McCready starting when she was 15 and he was 28 — and married with two children. The newspaper also claimed an affair with the ex-wife of golf star John Daly.

Notably, unlike with McNamee, Clemens did not say that he would sue for defamation. After all, the allegations involve both moral turpitude and a criminal act — per se categories of common law defamation if untrue. Instead, he offered a nuanced apology/denial:

“Even though these articles contain many false accusations and mistakes, I need to say that I have made mistakes in my personal life for which I am sorry . . . I have apologized to my family and apologize to my fans. Like everyone, I have flaws. I have sometimes made choices which have not been right . . . I have been accused of having an improper relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Nothing could be further from the truth. This relationship has been twisted and distorted far beyond reality. It is just one of many, many accusations that are utterly false.”

Such allegations could be raised in deposition. They go to Clemens veracity, honesty, and past violations of oaths. His attorneys will likely seek to bar the questions or at least put the transcripts under seal. However, any testimony on the stand could “open the door” for such questions. As Bill Clinton can attest, Clemens will have to testify truthfully to avoid making things worst.

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2 thoughts on “Three Strikes? Roger Clemens Admits to Adultery But Denies Statutory Rape”

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  2. Previously, I have always questioned the strategy employed by good ol’ boy Rusty Hardin who represents Clemens. At that time, it was just some legal grandstanding when all that was involved was a non-actionable report by Sen. Mitchell on old steroid use in baseball. BY insisting on a House hearing to clear his name, Clemens and his legal entourage effectively raised the ante, and, as anyone who worked on the Hill knows, you don’t call out those guys unless you are sure you can win. His appearance was a lesson in how not to testify, and his plea of “damage to his family man reputation” certainly set up this colossal fall from grace. As every advocate knows, you do not pen your public figure client into unequivocal positions unless you are damn sure you are right,and if not sure, you investigate until you are sure. Clemens may have failed to heed Hardin’s advice, but I doubt it, given the glee with which Hardin delivers his Texas twang zingers at Clemens’ accusers. This has been good sport for Hardin, but the biggest loser may yet be his client once formal discovery begins in the civil case, not to mention the criminal investigation now looming.

    For a good analysis, see Mike Florio’s column. A practicing attorney and writer for The Sporting News, Florio gets “it” and minces no words when it comes to Hardin.

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