March 19, 2015 / 6:24 AM / 4 years ago

Roger Clemens reaches settlement in ex-trainer's defamation suit: newspaper

Former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens exits the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn Borough of New York April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Former Major League Baseball pitching great Roger Clemens on Wednesday reached a settlement to a defamation lawsuit filed years ago by a former trainer who said he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs, Newsday reported.

Brian McNamee filed the civil suit in 2008, seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages from Clemens, with whom he trained during stints at the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees.

Clemens, who in June 2012 was acquitted of perjury charges over statements to the U.S. Congress denying that he used the drugs, and his lawyers, said in interviews that McNamee was “off the deep end” and trying to “shake (Clemens) down” with “totally false” statements. McNamee said the claims ruined his life.

The settlement was reached during closed-door talks in Brooklyn federal court, and attorneys for both sides told Newsday it involved no financial contribution from Clemens.

The undisclosed settlement amount would be paid by AIG, the provider of Clemens’ homeowners’ insurance, Newsday reported, citing Clemens’ attorney Chip Babcock.

Richard Emery, an attorney for McNamee, told the newspaper, “No one disputes insurance paid for it.”

Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Known as “The Rocket,” Clemens played for four teams over a 24-year career, earning seven Cy Young Awards for best pitcher. He is considered one of the greatest pitchers in professional baseball history.

His first federal perjury trial ended in a mistrial in 2011 after the jury was shown inadmissible evidence.

Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco

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