The estranged wife of a key goverment witness in the perjury case against baseball legend Roger Clemens maintained Thursday that she did not prod her husband, the star pitcher’s former trainer, to keep syringes and other material alleged to to link Clemens to performance-enhancing drugs.
On Wednesday, Brian McNamee’s wife Eileen told jurors she was unaware of the contents of a FedEx box in which her husband kept needles, cotton balls and other medical waste. He had previously testified in the District’s federal court that she pushed him to keep the items, and prosecutors on Thursday pressed her about her October 2009 statements to FBI investigators indicating that she knew that the items in the box came from ball players.
“I was shaken up, I don’t remember everything that we talked about,” Eileen McNamee testified. “I tried to tell the truth” in 2009, she said.
Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he told a House panel in 2008 that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. Brian McNamee is considered a key witness for the prosecution because he is the only person to testify to firsthand knowledge of the pitcher’s alleged use of the substances.
Later Thursday, defense attorneys for Clemens asked Eileen McNamee asked whether her husband would have done anything to save himself from prosecution for administering performance enhancing drugs.McNamee has said he helped Clemens use steroids and human growth hormone, keeping items he used to do so in 2001.
“I don’t know what he would do,” Eileen McNamee responded. “I think anyone would try to save themselves.”
She said she asked her husband to go after Clemens when she became angry that pitcher allowed a taped phone conversation between the two men in which McNamee spoke about his oldest son’s health — he has diabetes — to be played on national television.
Brian McNamee has said his wife knew about the medical waste and pressed him to keep it to protect himself because he had a “history of taking hits for people and always getting in trouble.”
But she also maintained that she did not know that her husband’s FedEx box contained medical waste until a report by former senator George Mitchell identified dozens of ballplayers, including Clemens, as performance-enhancing drug users.
This item has been updated.
Read more: Clemens trial coverage