Barricaded behind tightly drawn blinds at her Nashville home Monday, country singer Mindy McCready confirmed a long-term affair with embattled pitcher Roger Clemens."I cannot refute anything in the story," a tearful but resolute McCready told The Daily News, which broke the story at midnight Sunday.
The story goes on to note:
After the teenage McCready met Clemens at a Fort Myers bar called The Hired Hand, she returned with the Rocket to his hotel room, but there was no sex that night, sources told The News.
It wasn't until later, after McCready had moved to Nashville and became a country singing star, that the relationship turned intimate.
If that last part is true -- that they didn't have a sexual relationship until after McCready hit it big -- that makes this less creepy, but only a little bit. That's because (a) Clemens was no less married when the relationship turned intimate; (b) she was still only 18 when she moved to Nashville which, while legal, still doesn't represent the best judgment on Clemens' part; and (c) sexual or not, the implication from the Daily News stories -- which again, McCready does not refute -- is that the relationship was based on something other than chaste, paternal nurturing (why would Clemens take a 15 year-old girl to his hotel room after a night out at The Hired Hand?).
In other news, some people asked me about my comments yesterday that Hardin was doing a poor job of representing Clemens in light of this mess. Let me be clear: I do not think that the McCready stuff has technical legal relevance to this case (I largely agree with Munson's analysis on that score), and think that McNamee's lawyer is overplaying how important this stuff is on a strictly legal basis. If they try to introduce this stuff as evidence Hardin will argue -- as would I if I were in his shoes -- that it has nothing to do with the case and should be excluded. He'll probably win that argument too, unless McCready has anything to say about Clemens' drug use.
But lawyers are not hired simply to handle the technical legal aspects of a case. We are counselors on a broader level than that, charged with carrying out our clients' larger interests, whether they come up within the technical boundaries of litigation or not. This is important here because the supposed purpose of the defamation suit was to protect Clemens' public image, and it seems fairly clear that the McCready allegations wouldn't be out in the open right now if it were not for the lawsuit.
If you're a lawyer in Hardin's position, you have to make sure that your filing of a complaint on Clemens' behalf isn't going to make the problem your client is trying to solve -- reputational damage -- worse than if you had never filed in the first place. If Hardin knew that there was bad stuff floating around waiting to become public before he filed, he should have counseled his client against going through with the suit. If he didn't know, it means Clemens didn't tell him or he didn't ask.
If he did know, did counsel his client against filing and Roger insisted anyway, it's just the latest bit of information suggesting that Hardin had a client who would not listen to his legal advice, which is a situation no lawyer ever wants to be in.