Attorney Gloria Allred appeared in a Canton, Mass. court Wednesday with a petition to unseal records of Romney's testimony in the divorce trial of Tom Stemberg, Staples founder. She appeared in court with Stemberg's ex-wife Maureen Sullivan Stemberg.
According to The New York Times, Allred appeared at the courthouse with copies of the testimony by Romney in the 1991 divorce case. The Huffington Post reports that Maureen Sullivan Stemberg appeared in court with her. They said they would not block the motion filed by The Boston Globe to lift a gag order on Romney's 1991 testimony in the divorce case.
The Boston Globe reportedly filed the application after it received a tip-off that Romney compromised himself in the testimony. Jon Albano, attorney for newspaper, confirmed to the media that the case was about the expert financial testimony Romney gave in the divorce trial.
According to The Huffiington Post, The Boston Globe argues in its motion that Stemberg has been a prominent spokesman for Romney in his presidential campaign and cited Romney's role in the success of Staples as grounds for the petition. TMZ reports Bain Capital was an early investor in Staples before it became a big success. Staples made its first public offering in 1989.
According to TMZ, anonymous sources allege that in the divorce case, Romney deliberately understated the value of Staple stock. Romney testified that the company was worth practically nothing and that Stemberg was only a "dreamer."
According to the sources, during the 1988 hearings, Romney said that the company's stock was "overvalued" and that the prospects for the company were poor. But later, he and Stemberg cashed their stock at Goldman Sachs for a massive payout. According to the Daily Mail, it is unclear how much Maureen got out of the divorce, but reports say she was awarded 500,000 shares. She cashed half of the shares before the company went public and missed out on a huge windfall as stocks rose from $2 to $19.
Maureen Stemberg claims that Romney deliberately understated the value of the stocks thus reducing her settlement. A probate judge rejected her suit in 1994.
Allred appeared in court on Wednesday with copies of Romney's testimony but she did not speak to the media about it. She gave Romney and Stemberg's legal representatives copies of the testimony.The attorneys asked the judge for time to review them.
The judge is expected to decide on Thursday morning whether to unseal the records as requested.
Digital Journal reported the Allred had promised an "October surprise" for Mitt Romney with just about 2 weeks to the presidential election.
According to The New York Times, the Stemberg divorce battle dates back 1987 and lasted for more than a decade with accusations and counter-accusations of child mistreatment and defamation.
Robert Jones, Romney's lawyer, told the media on Wednesday: “This is a decades-old divorce case in which Mitt Romney provided testimony as to the value of a company. He has no objection to letting the public see that testimony.” He added: "There is a spin cycle right now. The longer this goes on the longer the speculation will go on. The sooner we get out of this the better."
"Maureen Stemberg" on HuffPost
Recently, in a series of comments on HuffPost, a woman who claims she is Maureen Stemberg attacked Mitt and Ann Romney. A post says: "He had a lot of bodies hidden in personal and business life. Will very soon be revealed. When the door opens he and his team will be heading for the hills. Scary group."
Stemberg, in her HuffPost comments, said she was married to Romney's "partner in crime, Mr Staples." She described Romney's personality as "deplorable."
She said: "I know the man and his wife. President Obama the only one to be our President!"
The Daily Mail comments that if the Huffpost commenter is the real Maureen Stemberg, she is still very bitter about Romney's role in her divorce case.
Maurice Stemberg on HuffPost
She also commented about an occasion in which Romney attended a Christmas party in their house and described Romney as trying very hard to "be real." She comments: "I truly do believe he has a fear and dislike for anyone who has less than 99,000,000 [dollars]. He just can't relate and obviously Queen Ann is the same."
Mother Jones reports that Ms. Stemberg has been trying to publish her story about Romney for many years. According to the website, four years ago, Dragon-Lion Media, a movie production company based outside Los Angeles, announced it was making a documentary with her assistance. The company issued a press release that said this "first-time tell all tale of the interweaving relationships and strange bedfellows" would feature Romney.
Maureen Stemberg on HuffPost
The press release stated that the film was intended to expose "injustice" of the Massachusetts court system.
According to Mother Jones, Edmund Druilhet, founder and CEO of Dragon-Lion Media, said that Ms. Stemberg told him that Romney testified falsely to help Tom Stemberg during the trial.
(See the full text of the Dragon-Lion press release below.)
Allred met Obama two weeks before announcing "October Surprise"
The Daily Mail reports that Allred spoke with Obama at a fundraiser two weeks before she made her "October Surprise" announcement (Digital Journal).
According to the Daily Mail, Allred met Obama during the "30 Days to Victory'" fundraiser at LA's Nokia Theater. When O'Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters, asked Allred about her meeting with the president, she said: "I'm a very proud supporter of President Obama. I was an elected Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, I just had a few words with the President."
She added: "He was very kind to me. He had some very kind words to me. And he knows of my work for women's rights. And I of course am very appreciative of everything he has done and everything I know he will do in four years for women's rights."
She said further: "And it's so essential that we re-elect President Obama because the alternative is just unthinkable."
This is not the first time Allred has played a role in the 2012 race. She represented Sharon Bialek, the woman who ended Herman Cain's bid for Republican nomination with an accusation of sexual harassment.
DRAGON-LION MEDIA Press Release (Mother Jones):
DRAGON-LION MEDIA's Edmund Druilhet has just announced the production of "The Maureen Sullivan Stemberg Story: A Portrait In Courage", a true-life documentary film based on factual events from her childhood up to today.
Maureen the first wife and inspiration for Staples which Tom Stemberg founded in 1985. Prior to 1985 he was out of work for almost three years.
Tom Stemberg, served as CEO and drove the company through its growth from infancy to what is now a worldwide superstore based on the idea of a home-office. Maureen Sullivan Stemberg ran her own very successful interior design business from just such a home-office. She also designed Trump Penthouses at the Plaza. Over the past 20 years, Maureen Sullivan Stemberg has proven to be one of the most talented Interior designers in the industry. She has owned and operated successful design firms in both Boston and palm beach, taking on upscale clients with the most discriminating taste. "Her ability to transform any room into a timeless masterpiece has boosted her reputation as a visionary with impeccable attention to detail" —Traditional Homes Magazine 1985.
In Sullivan Stemberg's own words: "I am so proud to say I was born in South Boston, came home to live with my siblings and parents in a two bedroom project. My family, valued cultural learning and discussed politics at the breakfast table. It was reading, writing and the knowledge of the world around me -- a greater knowledge than my own backyard was instilled in me from a very early age and I've learned to carry that torch with me wherever I have gone since then: shining my flashlight in hidden corners, highlighting those things that I feel require some attention on my part, be it the arts, child abuse and all the way to certain medical issues that are under-reported. I was taught to speak-up, and I do, and I am proud of my parents for teaching me this and proud of my own ability now to stand up for what I believe in. This is why I am humbled, grateful and pleased to have my story be told in this film documentary."
Maureen Sullivan Stemberg will provide an in-depth account in this first-time tell all tale of the interweaving relationships and strange bedfellow that business has made in her life. Such luminaries include former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney - who was the former Republican nominee in the 2008 Presidential campaign, as well as one of the first major investors for Staples while he was employed by Bain Capital, Boston, MA. This story will include the injustice of the Mass. Probate Justice system. Other heavy hitting names have yet to be released in this as of yet untold story including Dola Davis Hamilton Stemberg.
The documentary will feature Ms. Stemberg, interior designer and social advocate, whose design work has been featured in such places as House and Garden, House Beautiful, and The New York Times as well as Who's Who in Interior Design: One Hundred Top Designers (published by Rizzoli), among others. Notably, Ms. Sullivan Stemberg was selected by Who's Who Woman of Distinction for 2006, featured for her design work, and most notably for her charitable social endeavors, and most importantly to her, her work with abused children. Sullivan Stemberg is also recognized for her charitable work and advocacy for people with autoimmune diseases and conditions.
The documentary will also feature writer Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti who will be interviewing various people involved throughout her life, past and present. Anyone discussed in the documentary will be contacted for their response.
The documentary is to be sourced to Lifetime Television as well as broadcasting companies throughout the United States, Europe, and worldwide.
Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti has been named as the writer and editor of the documentary. Ranson-Polizzotti is a full-member of the national PEN America Foundation.