"Even though these articles contain many false accusations and mistakes, I need to say that I have made mistakes in my personal life for which I am sorry," Clemens said in a statement issued by spokesman Patrick Dorton. "I have apologized to my family and apologize to my fans. Like everyone, I have flaws. I have sometimes made choices which have not been right."
Brian McNamee, Clemens' former trainer, accused him in December's Mitchell Report of using performance-enhancing drugs in 1998, 2000 and 2001, before players and owners agreed to ban them from baseball.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner and 354-game winner, has repeatedly denied using steroids and human growth hormone and filed a defamation suit against Brian McNamee.
"I believe my personal life has nothing to do with the accusations of steroid and HGH use," Clemens said. "I have already made clear that I did not use them. Now, I have been accused of having an improper relationship with a 15-year old girl. Nothing could be further from the truth. This relationship has been twisted and distorted far beyond reality. It is just one of many, many accusations that are utterly false.
"I realize that many people want me to simply confess and apologize for the conduct that I have been accused of, but I cannot confess to, nor apologize for, things I did not do. I have apologized to my family for my mistakes, and having offered this apology to the public, I would ask that you let me and my family deal with these matters in private."
Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said Friday he will talk with his client about whether to proceed with the defamation suit following a wave of unpleasant publicity.
"He's getting pummeled," attorney Rusty Hardin said then. "I've never seen somebody get beat up like this. In some ways, I think we're on uncharted ground."
The decision on whether to drop the suit rests with Clemens.
"That's always a decision the client has to make," Hardin said. "That's not the lawyer's decision."