Judge OKs release of Romney testimony
CANTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Massachusetts judge approved the release of court testimony Mitt Romney gave in a decades-old divorce case on Thursday, but a gag order remains in effect.
Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, alongside members of the Boston Globe, had fought to get the documents released.
The judge decided in favor of making the testimony Romney made during the divorce trial of one of his business associates, Tom Stemberg -- the founder of Staples, public.
“It would be shocking to me that a newspaper like the Boston Globe would think my client should be denied her rights,” said Allred, Maureen Stemberg-Sullivan’s attorney.
Allred appeared blind-sided when the judge told her the gag order was still in place. That means Allred’s client, Stemberg-Sullivan, still cannot comment about her divorce proceedings that went on more than 20 years ago, including Romney’s testimony.
“She needs to be able to speak. She apparently is the only person in the United States of America and the world who cannot speak about Gov. Romney and his relationship with her, his conduct, his interactions, his statements,” said Allred.
“She certainly has a right to bring her own motion at any point in time,” said the judge.
Romney testified about financial matters as part of Stemberg’s divorce trial. It was said to be a contentious divorce, but lawyers for Stemberg said he doesn’t believe anyone will care about what Romney had to say.
“Now all of you can get a wonderful primer on how to value stock in an early stage company, because that’s essentially all the transcripts have to do with,” said Brian Leary, Stemberg’s attorney.
When Allred left court Thursday she said she had no idea the gag order was dropped by the Boston Globe. Allred said she thought when her client left court she would be able to talk about Romney’s testimony.
“The public has a right to know what Gov. Romney testified to,” said Allred.
In order to speed the release of the testimony, the Boston Globe apparently dropped its request that the gag order be lifted.
Stemberg’s attorney would have fought that.
“This has never been an issue about Gov. Romney. It’s an issue involving a very private divorce matter,” Brian Leary, attorney for Stemberg.
Allred said Romney’s testimony won’t mean much unless Stemberg-Sullivan can put it in context. Allred said she is unhappy with the Boston Globe because it withdrew the second half of its motion.
“I felt that in my opinion it was a complete double cross,” said Allred.
Allred said she will work to get the gag order lifted.