Jack Clark, Ex-Yankee, Offers to Take Polygraph in Albert Pujols Lawsuit--If Pujols Does Same [Updated]
Updated Monday night to include response from Pujols's lawyer.
The defendant: Jack "The Ripper" Clark
Earlier this month, slugger Albert Pujols sued former New York Yankee (and St. Louis Cardinal and San Francisco Giant) Jack Clark for defamation.
Now, through his attorney, Clark has responded by challenging Pujols to a duel. Clark's weapon of choice: the polygraph.
Clark, known in his playing days as Jack the Ripper, ripped into Pujols on a St. Louis radio show in August, stating that he knows "for a fact" that Pujols, who played 10 seasons for the Cardinals before jumping ship for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, used steroids.
Pujols filed suit October 3, alleging that "[i]n an attempt to generate ratings during the first week of his The King and the Ripper radio program, for his own personal gain, or for other wrongful reasons yet unknown, Clark targeted Pujols and published and disseminated malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods about him, falsely asserting that Pujols used steroids and illegal performance enhancing drugs."
Next: If Clark's allegations were outrageous, attorney Albert Watkins's letter to Pujols's counsel--who received it Monday morning--gives them a run for their money ...
"In re-reviewing your Demand Letter, my eye was attracted to the italicized sentence on the first page. ... You concisely noted that Mr. [Pujols] 'has never taken any illegal performance enhancing drugs. ...' (emphasis added to add emphasis)," Watkins writes, having noted that he has personally traveled to the Dominican Republic, where Pujols was born, and was "impressed with the wide array of readily and publicly accessible" steroids and PEDs. "I do not see any allegations in the underlying Petition encompassing the assertion that Mr. Clark referenced illegal performance enhancing drugs. Am I missing something on this front...? Does your statement mean that Mr. [Pujols] admits to taking legal performance enhancing drugs?"
The plaintiff: Albert Pujols
Watkins goes on to propose a settlement whereby Pujols and Clark each submit to a lie-detector test--Pujols to address whether he is being deceptive when he asserts that he has never used PEDs, Clark to address whether he was told by Pujols's former personal trainer that he had indeed "juiced."
If Clark fails the test and Pujols passes, the letter states, Clark will "issue a public statement ... fully retracting all objectionable statements." If Pujols fails and Clark passes, Pujols must drop the defamation suit and publicly apologize to Clark. And if they're both found to be liars, the suit gets dropped and "neither party needs to apologize to the other."
In the letter, Watkins says that Pujols's legal team has 10 days to accept the offer. Otherwise, he plans to "vigorously proceed with what inevitably will be a highly charged, entertaining, and public spectacle."
By suing his accuser, Pujols has opened himself up to depositions digging into both his professional and personal life. Above all, focusing legal scrutiny on the accusation brings with it the specter of public attention.
"You are bringing to the forefront, center on stage number one in the strip club of the media, the very subject matter that you're seeking to suppress," Watkins elaborates to the Village Voice. "If Mr. Pujols is fully aware of what awaits him as a plaintiff in a defamation-of-character lawsuit, my suggestion is that he run to the polygraph test at full speed, despite any nagging injury."
Next: Pujols's lawyer responds to the polygraph test offer...