A tearful Mindy McCready confirmed to the New York Daily News that she carried on a longterm affair with Yankee star pitcher Roger Clemens.
I cannot refute anything in the story, the country singer says of reports that she met Clemens in 1990 when she was 15 years old and singing in a karaoke contest at a Florida bar.
Clemens, then with the Boston Red Sox, was 28 and a married father of two at the time.
“Yes, I have known Roger Clemens for a long time,” McCready told the paper in a prepared statement. “He’s a kind and caring man.
McCready’s father, Tim McCready, told the New York Post that his daughter’s relationship with the baseball star didn’t turn physical until years after their first meeting, when Mindy’s engagement to Lois & Clark actor Dean Cain broke off in 1998. He says their affair was an “on again, off again thing” he also describes star pitcher Clemens as a “gentleman”.
A music insider tells PEOPLE he recalls meeting Clemens with McCready, 32, at the Peninsula Hotel Bar in New York City about 13 years ago. Bumping into Clemens recently, the insider recounted that meeting and the Yankee pitcher replied, “Oh yeah, I remember that.”
Clemens’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed a longterm relationship to the New York Post but said it was not sexual or “inappropriate.”
Clemens, who is currently under investigation for perjury for allegedly lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, had earlier filed a defamation suit against his former personal trainer Brian McNamee and the affair allegations could be a complicating factor.
McNamee’s lawyer, Richard Emery, told the Daily News that revelations of the affair would have an impact on that case because they influence the baseball star’s claim that his reputation was damaged.
“If the case heads to trial and is not dismissed, as we feel it should be, we will be calling [McCready] as a witness,” Emery said.
This isn’t the first round of high-profile drama for McCready either.
In 2005, she was hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt; her boyfriend William McKnight was charged with attempted criminal homicide when he attacked McCready at her Nashville home; and in 2007, she was sentenced to jail time for violating probation from a 2004 drug arrest.
Upon her release from jail in January, McCready, who is working on several new projects including a documentary, a new album and a reality show, said in a statement:
I am very fortunate to have been presented a number of great opportunities to do my best to take advantage of. What I am going to do now is put my head down and do my very best to make the most of those opportunities. Just as soon as I have something to talk to the world about I would love to share it.
• Reporting by KAY WEST