U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison gutted the defamation case of Roger Clemens against his former trainer Brian McNamee. As discussed on this blog, the case was unlikely to succeed and seemed part of Clemens’ public campaign to defend his reputation. Now, he is more likely to appear in court as a criminal defendant than as a civil litigant.
Previously, Clemens dropped an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against McNamee.
Ellison ruled in Texas that most of the case was barred on jurisdictional grounds and most of the comments were privileged when made by McNamee because they were part of an ongoing federal investigation: “As a matter of public policy, McNamee’s statements to Mitchell should be protected.”
The jurisdictional problem arose from the fact that some of the comments alleged as defamation occurred in New York and not Texas when McNamee spoke to Mitchell and Sports Illustrated reporter Jon Heyman.
Clemens is being investigation by a grand jury on his allegedly false statements to Congress. With the indictment of Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada this week, it seems highly likely that an indictment is on its way for Clemens.
For a copy of the original complaint, click here.