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.
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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