CEO's ex-wife backs bid to unseal Romney testimony; Romney has no objection
CANTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts probate judge will hold another hearing Thursday before deciding whether to unseal testimony that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave in the divorce case of Staples founder Tom Stemberg.
Ex-wife Maureen Stemberg Sullivan appeared in court Wednesday with lawyer Gloria Allred. They said they did not object to a Boston Globe motion to lift an impoundment order on Romney's testimony in the case from the early 1990s.
Attorneys said Romney's testimony dealt with financial matters, though they did not elaborate. Staples was founded with backing from Romney's firm, Bain Capital. Stemberg has been a surrogate for Romney and spoke on the former Massachusetts governor's behalf at the GOP convention.
"You have expert testimony about an investment that a presidential candidate made," Globe attorney Jonathan Albano told Judge Jennifer Ulwick on Wednesday. He said the public has a right to know what Romney said. Allred disputed the contention that Romney testified as an expert.
Attorneys for Romney and Staples asked the judge for more time to review two booklets of testimony Allred produced.
Stemberg's attorney said he had only been able to review about 20 pages. It wasn't clear if the booklets were all Romney testimony or included testimony from others.
Romney attorney Robert Jones said Romney would like time to review the entire transcript but does not anticipate objecting. He asked a judge not to delay the hearing beyond one day.
"We're in a little bit of a spin cycle now," Jones said. "The longer this goes on, the more speculation there will be."
Jones also issued a statement.
"This is a decades-old divorce case in which Mitt Romney provided testimony as to the value of a company," he said. "He has no objection to letting the public see that testimony."
Stemberg's lawyer, Brian Leary, said there was nothing salacious in the testimony he had seen but acknowledged he only had 20 pages. He described the divorce as incredibly contentious and urged the judge to look at "what's really going on behind the scenes."
He added: "This is in many ways much ado about nothing."
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