Nanny's account clashes with Clemens
Pitcher's former employee said Clemens was at house
WASHINGTON -- The bikini-wearing nanny who looked after Roger Clemens' young children a decade ago was at the center of attention on Capitol Hill, as the hurler and his principal accuser clashed over one detail of the Mitchell Report.
One of the many differences in the statements and testimony provided by Clemens and former trainer Brian McNamee revolves around a barbecue held on June 9, 1998, at the home of ex-big league slugger Jose Canseco, then a teammate of Clemens' with the Blue Jays.
The point created one of the snapshot moments of Wednesday's hearing, with Clemens' attorneys, Rusty Hardin and Lanny Breuer, trying to shout over the banging gavel of the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).
While the lawyers pleaded their case, Hardin said, Clemens seethed over intimations that he had acted inappropriately in contacting the nanny before the committee was able to reach her.
"It is hard to hold Roger down," Hardin said. "He was so anxious not to get upset about anything. This woman is a lifetime friend of the family who quit working with them when her daughter had a child. She's still very close to them. She has had a relative killed in another country and is very nervous about the government."
In the Mitchell Report, McNamee alleges that Clemens raised the topic of steroids shortly after speaking with Canseco at the party, which was held while the Blue Jays were in town for an Interleague series against the Florida Marlins. Clemens insisted that he was not at the party, but McNamee recalled seeing a woman wearing "a peach bikini with green in it and board shorts."
When McNamee inquired as to the woman's identity, he was told that she was Clemens' nanny.
Waxman said that the committee had reached out to Clemens' camp late Friday in an effort to secure the woman's contact information, but a telephone interview was not conducted until Tuesday -- two days after she had already met with Clemens' investigators, at Hardin's urging, and one day after the committee was provided with her contact information.
"Your meeting took place two days after the committee staff made a simple request for your former nanny's name, and then it took 24 hours after your meeting for your attorneys to provide her name to the Republican and Democratic staffs," Waxman said. "And that's why I'm puzzled about this. Why was it your idea -- was it your idea to meet with her before forwarding her name to us, or did someone suggest that to you?"
"I was trying to do y'all a favor," said Clemens. "I hadn't seen this lady in a long time, she's a sweet lady, and I wanted to get her to you."
That prompted Hardin to stand up, yelling from behind Clemens, "It was my idea! It was my idea to investigate what witnesses know, just like any other lawyer in the free world does!"
Waxman banged his gavel several times and said that the committee would not recognize Hardin, though he did initially allow the attorneys to speak.
Waxman later said that the actions of Clemens and his attorneys regarding the nanny "raises an appearance of impropriety. The impression it leaves is terrible."
Following the hearing, Breuer said that Clemens did not even know why the committee was requesting to speak with a nanny with whom his family has not spoken in years.
"It's because of Roger Clemens and because he cooperated that we were able to find this person and make her available to the committee," Breuer said. "Could all of you have found a nanny or babysitter from your family who you had not talked to for years and years?"
After a long period of no communication with the Clemens family -- she hadn't worked for them since 2001 -- the woman said that she had been invited to the Clemens' house on Sunday and had been asked what she remembered by the pitcher's investigators.
"All Roger did was greet her at the house and said, 'These guys would like to talk to you,' " Hardin said. "Then they went in their interview room."
The nanny said she told Clemens that she didn't remember a party at Canseco's house, and Clemens told her, "You know, the reason you don't remember that party is because I wasn't there."
But the nanny remembered being at Canseco's house. She told the committee that Clemens' wife, Debbie, and their four children, plus Mrs. Clemens' brother, Greg, had stayed overnight, and that Clemens had been taken on a tour of the home by Canseco. McNamee's contention is that he watched Roger and Debbie Clemens go inside the house with Canseco, but while the nanny says she believes Clemens was on the premises during that trip, he did not attend the pool party.
Neither did she, as the Clemens children were moved to a local resort and only spent one night at Canseco's house.
"While I was there, I know that it wasn't no (sic) party," the woman said. "It was just the kid and I and Greg, and we were in the pool. I would have remembered the party, because you would never forget all of these big boys."
McNamee testified on Wednesday that he remembered being disappointed that he and Clemens could not stay later at the party, because the Blue Jays had a game that evening, limiting their selection options to sandwiches and iced tea.
Excerpts from the broadcast of the Blue Jays-Marlins game feature announcers discussing Clemens' non-attendance. Canseco, who did not appear on Wednesday, said in his affidavit that Clemens was not among the 30 to 40 people present.
"I remember this because I was disappointed that he did not attend," Canseco said. "I later learned that he had a golfing commitment that day and could not attend the party."
Clemens' attorneys produced a receipt from a golf pro shop time-stamped at 8:58 a.m. ET. Clemens said that he would have teed off 30 to 40 minutes after that and would have played for four to 4 1/2 hours, which he said is a typical ritual for him on the days before and after he pitches. Clemens pitched seven innings in a loss at Florida on June 8.
"That's something that Roger [has] always done, you know," the nanny said. "He always carries his golf clubs, and if he can squeeze in time to go play, him and his wife, that was a relaxing time. He'd go play golf."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.