Judge OKs Release of Romney Testimony in Staples Divorce Case

Judge OKs release of Romney testimony in Staples divorce caseBy DENISE LAVOIE, AP Legal Affairs Writer

CANTON, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts judge on Thursday granted a request to unseal testimony by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the decades-old divorce of Staples (SPLS) founder Tom Stemberg.

Lawyers for The Boston Globe sought release of the testimony, arguing that the public has the right to know the contents because Stemberg has been a prominent spokesman for Romney's qualifications for the presidency and has cited Romney's role in Staples' success. The office supply company was founded with backing from Romney's firm, Bain Capital.

Stemberg's ex-wife, Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, supported the Globe's request.

The transcripts were not immediately released Thursday; lawyers said they were still reviewing them.

The Globe also had sought a modification of a confidentiality order prohibiting either side from discussing any aspect of their divorce proceeding, including Romney's testimony, but dropped that request after lawyers for Tom Stemberg said they did not object to Romney's testimony being released.

During a hearing in Norfolk Probate and Family Court, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing Stemberg's former wife, became incensed that the Globe was no longer seeking to lift the gag order. She said Stemberg's ex-wife wants to give the public her opinion of Romney, but can't unless the order is lifted.

"I think voters have a right to know everything about Gov. Romney," Allred said. Without the "context" Sullivan Stemberg can provide, Allred said the transcripts will be "essentially meaningless to the public."

Globe Editor Martin Baron said the paper had no reason to object to getting the transcripts without lifting the gag order.

"The Globe's only interest all along, as should have been clear to all parties, was to obtain the transcript of a presidential candidate's testimony. We wanted to read it to see what was there, following standard practice in covering a major election," Baron said in a statement.

Romney's lawyer, Robert Jones, has said the transcripts include Romney's testimony about the value of Staples in 1991.

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg sued her husband in 1990, arguing that he had failed to reveal the true value of Staples stock in their property settlement agreement.

Allred said after the hearing that she planned to file a request as early as next week to lift the gag order.

Outside court, Allred referred to Tom Stemberg's "glowing" speech about Romney at the Republican National Convention and mockingly referred to him as "almost a BFF" of Romney's. In response to a reporter's question, Allred acknowledged being a supporter of President Barack Obama but said she is "not a surrogate for the Democratic Party."

George Regan Jr., a spokesman for Tom Stemberg, said in a statement that he was pleased that the gag order remained intact. He said the case is a private family matter that "has nothing to do with Gov. Romney."

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Don't you wish the media had been this interested in Mr. Obama in 2008?

October 28 2012 at 1:35 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

this is just one way mitt has screwed women !!! He wants to go back to the 19th century!!!!! and that moron that said God wanted babies to be born when women are raped is a nut .. het why dont we just hit ladies off the head drag them by the hair and pull them into there houses and have there way with them hell go back to the caveman days I THINK NOT!!!!!

October 28 2012 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Divorces are public record, this is no big deal. Likely Gloria Allred is using it for publicity. She somehow shows up on the news quite often to discuss her cases. The only thing that would affect Romney is IF he had an affair with Maureen which I'm sure he didn't. But of course there are those that will want to imply some wrong doing to sling a little more mud at Romney. But I'm sure he's used to it since it's been going on for over a year.

October 28 2012 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Several years ago, I applied for a position in law enforcement. They searched every inch of me. Even questioned my friends and neighbors. So for those of you that truly believe that Obama is illegal, there is no way some fake birth records would fool our government. So poeple, wake the $%@$% UP! The only way someone is getting in the White House that is illegal, is if our government is behind it. So if Obama is illegal, it just goes to show how desperate and messed up our country was, that they falsified records and put an illegal black man in office.

October 28 2012 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny how, even though this should be seen as "ludicrous and ridiculous" as Trump's request for Obama to produce college records (which in my mind is MUCH more related to what kind of job you might do as president), liberal voters aren't speaking out about it.


October 28 2012 at 12:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Gloria Allred is nothing but a ho hiding behind a law degree.

October 28 2012 at 12:19 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The dirt this man rolls in is exhausting.
Romnesia stinks.

October 28 2012 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We cant have another four more years of Obama.

October 27 2012 at 11:01 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to boats60's comment

We can't have 4 or 8 more years of something WORSE than Bush. We haven't recovered from the first one yet, courtesy of the GOP obstruction.

October 27 2012 at 11:34 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

America would die under robme and paul ayanrand.

October 28 2012 at 12:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Chicago gutter rat politics folks! As the election nears the fear & smear will continue, in deperation Obama will continue the race, class, & culteral war he has started.

October 27 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Wow, a scorned woman is still mad 20 years later.........and a lawyer with a crooked nose is helping out with her anger management. I hope it is worth it.....................this is when politics and justice collide..................it is pathetic. Maybe the lawyer will get enough fees from this action to straighten out her crooked nose.

October 27 2012 at 7:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to smaselli12's comment

Gloria Allred is a mockery to the legal system.

October 28 2012 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply