WASHINGTON -- It was a day for the wives to take the stand yesterday in the Roger Clemens perjury trial, as Eileen McNamee returned to contradict more of her estranged husband's testimony and Debbie Clemens took the witness stand, prepared to back up her husband's version of events.
On her second day testifying, Eileen McNamee told jurors that she did not resent Brian McNamee spending so much time with the former star pitcher, as her husband had testified earlier in the trial.
She choked up with tears and then corroborated one key element of McNamee's testimony, about producing the used needles he said he saved from injecting Clemens after the pitcher aired a phone call in which her husband discussed their son's medical condition.
Late in the afternoon, Debbie Clemens made her much-anticipated appearance, looking nervous as she took the stand. Defense lawyer Rusty Hardin did not ask any significant questions before the judge recessed for the day. She will return Friday.
She made her husband smile when she said their youngest child was called the "most valuable baby" at the hospital when he was born in 1986, the year Clemens won the American League MVP award.
Afterward, outside the court, Clemens, who is charged with lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using performance-enhancing substances, hugged his wife.
In the morning, Eileen McNamee testified she was devastated and furious after Clemens held a 2008 news conference to deny steroid use and air a tape of a phone call in which her husband said their son was dying.
Asked about his playing of the tape on national television to an audience that included her 10-year-old diabetic son, she said, "No, my son" -- then choked up and asked the judge, "Could I have a break, please?"
When she returned, she testified that after the Clemens news conference she angrily left a phone message with her husband to urge him to go after Clemens for airing their son's medical condition.
"I told him not to let him get away with it," she said.
Her son, she said, was not dying but had taken a blood test that was "not great," something she had told her husband by leaving him a telephone voice message. She said her son had to deal with a high level of stress, especially school. He now doesn't need daily shots of insulin.
Later that night, at about 3 a.m., she said, her husband came to her Breezy Point home and retrieved the FedEx box in which she earlier said she had seen unused needles and ampuls. "He said he was headed to his lawyer," she said, "and he was out the door."
Eileen McNamee said she is still hurt and upset with Clemens and his attorney Hardin, who took blame for airing the tape. But she agreed she is still "as angry as you can be" with her husband. The McNamees are involved in a long-running, contentious divorce.