Court to unseal Romney divorce testimony

The Boston Globe gained access to Romney's sealed testimony from a 1991 divorce case

By Jillian Rayfield

Published October 25, 2012 4:21PM (EDT)

A judge has granted the Boston Globe access to sealed testimony that Mitt Romney gave in his friend's 1991 divorce case. The case involves the divorce of Staples founder Tom Stemberg, who has been a Romney surrogate this campaign cycle, and his now-ex-wife Maureen Sullivan Stemberg.

From the Globe's report from before the hearing:

"All documents in the divorce case were impounded, and all parties signed a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from discussing details of the case with the press. The Globe is seeking only Romney’s testimony, which he delivered in June 1991.

At the time of the divorce, Romney was the owner and chief executive of Bain Capital, a private equity firm that invested $650,000 in Staples to help the office supply company open its first store in Brighton in 1986. In total, Bain Capital invested about $2.5 million in Staples and reaped a $13 million profit when the company went public in 1989. Romney sat on the Staples board of directors."

The testimony will be released at some point today.

Maureen Stemberg alleges that Romney lied under oath about the value of the company's stock, so that she would get less money in the divorce settlement.

Maureen Stemberg's high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred requested that the gag order on the case be lifted so that her client "can speak about his testimony, his statements, his conduct, and their interactions." The request was denied because Allred never submitted an official motion in court.

Romney, for his part, doesn't seem to care if the records are released. “This is a decades-old divorce case in which Mitt Romney provided testimony as to the value of a company,” Robert Jones, his lawyer, said in a statement. “He has no objection to letting the public see that testimony.”

We'll update soon...

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2012 Elections Boston Globe Gloria Allred Massachusetts Mitt Romney