Romney testimony in friend's divorce focus of court hearing
October 24th, 2012
03:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney testimony in friend's divorce focus of court hearing

Canton, Massachusetts (CNN) - High-profile attorney Gloria Allred appeared Wednesday at a hearing outside of Boston, asking a state judge to unseal testimony Mitt Romney gave during his business colleague's bitter divorce battle more than 20 years ago.

Allred represents Maureen Stemberg Sullivan, the ex-wife of Staples co-founder Tom Stemberg, who worked closely with Romney in the company's development and spoke on the GOP nominee's behalf at the Republican National Convention.

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The Boston Globe petitioned the court on October 15 to release Romney's 1989 testimony, but the judge, Jennifer Ulwick, said Wednesday she believed the documents had been destroyed.

However, Allred and her client, Maureen Stemberg Sullivan, the ex-wife involved in the divorce case, urged the court to agree to the newspaper's request, and, in a surprise move, provided volumes of Romney's testimony to the court.

Allred, however, said she was unable to comment on the content of the sealed testimony or if it could be damaging to Romney's presidential bid.

Stemberg's attorney also admitted to having additional transcripts from the decades-old case.

Robert Jones, the attorney representing Romney was anxious to move forward with the proceeding, and took no position on the openness of future hearings with regards to a camera in the courtroom or if they are open to the public.

"We're in a little bit of a spin cycle and the longer we sit on this the harder it gets," Jones said, adding: "From the governor's stand point, the sooner we get out of here the better."

The judge is giving all parties 24 hours to pore over hundreds of pages of testimony before they meet Thursday at 9 a.m. ET to continue arguing whether the testimony should be made public, as requested by The Boston Globe, Sullivan and Allred.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. I Voted Early In NC

    Make it public as soon as possible before Romney buys someone off. We all know Romney lied in court about the value of Staples. Of course lying seems to be the norm for Romney and the Romneynites will still follow the evil cult leader.

    October 24, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Is this how Obama thinks he is going to win? He gets more pathetic every day. And I thought nobody could out-do the harm to that office that Clinton did.

    October 24, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Steve- Illinois

    The last minute desperation of these libs is quite entertaining to watch.

    October 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Jonathen K

    Trump – I'll hand over 5 million to Obama's favorite Charity if he hands over his college records

    Romney – Accused of lying under oath about the value of Staples stocks, then him and the founder cashed out a couple of weeks later before the %**^& hit the fan.

    Do you want a president that lies under oath or one that has nothing to prove to someone whose trying to bribe him?

    Republicans are completely pathetic, it's just hard to believe there are people out there that actually support them. Give your head a shake, hit a psychiatrist, and have your intelligence evaluated because the answer to whom is the better candidate for presidency is crystal clear

    October 24, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Ryan Cincinnati

    Did someone actually say Obama is empty suit? Coming from supporter of the biggest flat out lying/ car salesman looking phony empty suit ever running for President!

    October 24, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "provided volumes of Romney's testimony to the court. "

    Look, I don't really give a crap what Mittens said in 1989 at his friend's divorce hearing unless it turns out to be some really crazy bad stuff, but that move by Allred is pretty funny. Judge Ulwick was looking for an out, because no judge likes being stuck in a pickle like this one with the "news" obviously drooling over the possibilities here and the obvious implications to a POTUS candidate....but Allred called the bluff. Classic.

    To be honest though, one might wonder why Mittens wants so badly for his testimony to be kept sealed. That's usually a rare thing, albeit somewhat less rare in the probate court than, say, a regular civil suit in MA's Superior Court. Did he not swear the oath to tell the truth and then do so? So what's with lawyering up to keep it secret?

    October 24, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Wow, Mr. Romney involved in a divorce hearing on behalf of his "businessman" friend. Even if Romney was served a subpoena to testify, if he was friends with both the husband and wife, he wouldn't say anything negative about either. I can't imagine Romney being a married man himself and all his religious beliefs, to help a man dissolve his marriage. Could it be that Romney is like his good old buddy Newt Gingrich.

    October 24, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Is this how Obama thinks he is going to win?"

    And your evidence that Obama has anything whatsoever to do with this is?

    "He gets more pathetic every day."

    You teatrolls get more delusional every day.

    "And I thought nobody could out-do the harm to that office that Clinton did."

    Right. Nobody likes Clinton and the whole world thinks he was a terrible POTUS and a terrible person. YAWN.

    October 24, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Much juicer than the donald's stupid thing!

    October 24, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Steve

    LOL at some of you.

    This has nothing to do with the Libs, or Democrats or whatever you want to call them. Use your head, seriously, use your bloody head.

    This is coming from a former wife that was screwed over by her ex with the help of Romney. It's plain as day in the article. If you can't read or have terrible reading comprehension, I could maybe understand the libs comments, but then again, if your reading comprehension is that bad, you have absolutely no business posting.

    Read the article, make an informed comment about the article and leave it at that.

    October 24, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. ezduzit757

    Interesting. Unfortunately the right wingers hate Obama so much they would rather have this robot who is totally devoid of character and ethics for president. Haven't they learned yet that when we give more money to the rich it isn't money that comes trickling down on us.

    October 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. stacy100

    Wow! This is a new low for Democrats. I was undecided, but crap like this just keeps pushing me away from Obama. Democrats are crazy. I cannot even watch ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, etc... I have never seen such one sided reporting in my life. I really cannot believe it.

    October 24, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Jessie P.

    Let me get this straight concerning some of these comments. So it is pefectly acceptable for Mitt Romney to lie under oath because he is "Mitt Romney"? It is ok with you that he has changed his positions more times than a baby's diaper and therefore lies to you (the American people, the Middle Class). No wonder the gathering I went to full of wealthy Romney donors made fun of the middle class and said "they will believe anything". We were invited to this gathering because of a very wealthy relative and yes, we are registered Republicans, but we are voting for Obama. Even my neighbor's 16 year old kid watched the debates and said that Romney lied in all three of them. Why is this 16 year old smarter/wiser than you? His family is also registered Republicans, but will now be voting for Obama once they checked all of the facts and realized just how much Romney lies. You see, we will not be fooled because we take the time to check the facts. We care about our future and out childrens future and don't want Romne to do away with Medicare, Social Security, Pre-existing condtions, and the list goes on and on. I bet Romney is laughing at you to behind closed doors! Obviously, you are too lazy to check the facts.

    October 24, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Funniest home made sign today, "Chinese Workers For Romney."

    October 24, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    @Steve- IllinoisThe last minute desperation of these libs is quite entertaining to watch.
    Fuuuuuuuny. Did you hear the bad hair man with his announcement that will stop the President from being reelected?
    He wants the President to give up his university papers and passport. Right!
    I WANT TO SEE THE TWIT'S TAXES FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS and now I want to see what he said. Come on somebody – murdouck is his friend isn't he? He wants to see his friend in DC.

    October 24, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    No, Sniffit, you don't give a rat's HOW criminal, lying, dishonest or vile Romney is, or no matter HOW often he shows those colors in his lying, sociopathic, abusive, selfish behavior. You just can't STAND that a part-black guy is a better man and is in the White House, you racist wad of guano.

    October 24, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Really??

    Watch the liberal's scramble to try to find dirt. Nice try but it won't pan out.
    Hey! You want a story? How about the Benghazi ongoing cover-up?

    October 24, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Janet

    This whole pathetic announcement attempted by Trump combined with this pointless attempt of unsealing testimony from over 20 years ago is ridiculous.

    Keep the soap opera crap out of the election, and keep the facts at hand. Here is what should happen, here is what would really make news...

    Donald Trump.. My man, make a proposal to Romney and offer him 20 million to his charity of choice in exchange for 2 simple requests (10 million per request)

    1. Have Romney disclose his tax records (which will dictate what kind of individual he is with money which in turn will give people a good indication how he will handle the economy.

    2. Have Romney give a solid answer on how he plans to overcome the shortfall of $12.7 trillion between his tax plan and the 2 million he plans on sending to the military.

    Under Romney's current tax plan (if he servers 2 terms), after he's closed all the loopholes and collected all the tax under his current plan, he is short $10.7 trillion + the 2 more trillion for defense.

    Romney has yet to give any indication or answer on how he is paying for this despite being asked repeatedly.

    Mr Trump, offer Romney 10 million to his favorite charity in answer to the simple question above. How is he going to overcome the total shortfall of $12.7 trillion?

    October 24, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. tracey

    mitt tell your boy trump to shut up he trying to help you win. he is funny and ignoran. take that wig off your head it's a shame. he is a liar you liar, and your whole family lets talk about your tax return you guys are hiding. lets talk about that 47% than u changed your mind saying u misunder stood question. yea bull....than you got richard coming on television saying things about rape. women open your eyes he is not for u.richard said it because he gets it from mitt. trump go get your boy taxe records. you only on side so you will not have to pay taxes you cheap bum. u guys make all that money n dont want to do nothing. how can he help middle class he nows nothing about us. look up information on your boy.

    October 24, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Really??

    @ ezduzit757 who said:
    Interesting. Unfortunately the right wingers hate Obama so much they would rather have this robot who is totally devoid of character and ethics for president. Haven't they learned yet that when we give more money to the rich it isn't money that comes trickling down on us.
    "Give more money to the rich"? Who is giving more money to the rich? You mean if you can't steal their money through taxes you won't get a "fair share" of their money.

    October 24, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Trying to dig up something that's 20 yrs. old, is ENTIRELY, a Democratic Party, "dirty tricks brigade" political move, that has zero merit.

    What it DOES do, is show clearly, that Obama is desperate, as his record is Soooooooo bad........he has nothing to run on.

    October 24, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Really??

    @Janet
    Romney gives millions of his own money to charity. He doesn't need Trump's.

    October 24, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. MikeB

    Jones is correct in getting it out and official; to nip the 'Herman Caining of Romney in the bud.

    October 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Vicky

    Oh my gosh! How desperate have some democrats become??? don't you know that this kind of thing will hurt your candidate????? Give it up and try to look for the good in YOUR candidate. You may be surprised in what you find

    October 24, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F
    Funniest home made sign today, "Chinese Workers For Romney."
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Actually, our tax dollars are funding a huge investment in the Chinese Middle Class. Tens of thousands of new high paying Research, Development and Manufacturing jobs. Courtesy of President Obama and General Motors.

    October 24, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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