News & Politics

Report: Romney Lied in Court And Then Screwed Over His Friend's Wife During Nasty Divorce With Staples Founder

A report on the gossip news website could codify the perception of Romney only caring about the rich and willing to screw over others.

Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks codified an image of the candidate as only caring about the rich and willing to screw over the rest of the population. A report on the gossip news website could add to that perception.

TMZ reports today that Romney lied “under oath when he testified in the divorce of his good friend and screwed the friend's wife out of a lot of money in the process,” according to the wife of the founder of Staples.

The story goes like this: Staples founder Tom Stemberg was in the midst of a nasty divorce with his wife Maureen Stemberg Sullivan. Romney, a friend of Stemberg’s who invested in his company, testified in court that Staples was not worth very much. Staple’s stock was “overvalued,” Romney said in court, adding, “I didn't place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company's future.”

Romney’s testimony helped ensure that Maureen received very little money when the divorce case was resolved. But the controversy comes from this: “We're told just weeks after the divorce ended, Romney and Tom went to Goldman Sachs and cashed in THEIR stock for a fortune.  Short story -- Romney allegedly lied to help his friend and screw the friend's wife over.”

TMZ doesn’t stop there. They also report that as Sullivan was suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis, Stemberg canceled her health insurance. The kicker is that Stemberg was then working with Romney as a health care adviser.

The divorce trial is attracting attention now as famous lawyer Gloria Allred, representing Maureen Stemberg Sullivan, goes to court to “tell a judge that [Maureen Sullivan] does not object to unsealing testimony given by presidential candidate Mitt Romney in her divorce case,” the Washington Post reports.

A Romney lawyer told TIME magazine that the candidate “has no objection to letting the public see that testimony.” But if the TMZ report is true, Romney might regret those words in court.

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.