Gloria Allred’s Last-Minute Romney-Killer Is…

UPDATE: TMZ says this has to do with a divorce.

One of the companies Romney’s Bain Capital fortune came from was Staples, the office-supply giant Bain helped to grow from a small shop. Staples founder Tom Stemberg spoke at the Republican National Convention to outline the role Romney and his company played in capitalizing the company.

Stemberg also had a messy divorce with his first wife Maureen, a case which went on for a decade. From a Boston Globe article on Monroe Inker, the divorce attorney who handled that case – and not to Maureen’s satisfaction…

Of course, if his style always translated to money in the bank for his female clients, only their fat-cat husbands would complain. But that’s not always the case. Take Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, the ex-wife of Staples founder Tom Stemberg. They divorced in 1987, and, in the settlement, she received nearly 500,000 shares of Staples stock, reportedly valued at $2.25 per share. Problem was, Staples went public two years later – at $19 per share – after she had unloaded nearly half her stock. She hired Inker to get her what she thought she deserved. The divorce grew into a decade-long mess, breathlessly retold on the front page of The Wall Street Journal in 1997. “I hired Monroe because he was supposed to be the best,” Maureen Stemberg says now. “They had Tom and I go after each other, and it was like, sit back and watch the money roll in.” She says she only met with Inker three times, despite the $3 million she estimates she paid his firm. Inker says his colleague handled the case. Maureen Stemberg says Inker’s female clients are vulnerable. “He meets with them. He says, `Oh, you poor thing, your poor kids. Oh, my God,’ and he doesn’t even know their name. . . . He calls me the Staples lady,” she says, then adds her experience with Inker’s firm was atypical of her dealings with lawyers. After losing her case in 1994, she sued Inker and his colleagues for malpractice, a case that was eventually dismissed.

And TMZ thinks Maureen has now hired Allred,

Sources tell us Romney gave both a deposition in the divorce and testified in the trial. According to our sources, the Boston Globe got a tip that there was “juicy information about Romney” in the sealed documents.Romney, Stemberg and Maureen were all served papers by the Globe notifying them that the paper was trying to unseal the case and lift the gag order enforced on all parties.

Our sources say Tom has filed papers opposing the Globe’s motion. Romney’s lawyers have not responded. Tom has been a major Romney supporter, even speaking for five minutes at the Republican National Convention. We’re told Gloria Allred represents someone connected with the divorce and we believe — though we have not confirmed it — that is Maureen. If the gag order is lifted, Maureen and others could freely talk about the divorce … less than two weeks before the election.

It’s unlikely there would be much of a bombshell in the Stemberg divorce. This seems like an even more desperate shot than you’ll read below.

ORIGINAL: …that he did anti-abortion counseling. Or so it appears from a few reports coming out of a Boston courtroom today in which Allred appeared in an attempt to get a gag order lifted.

Famed civil rights attorney Gloria Allred will be in a Boston area courtroom Wednesday in an attempt to unseal the sworn testimony given by Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a prior court case, is exclusively reporting.

The Boston Globe is headed to court tomorrow morning for an emergency hearing in an attempt to obtain a court order to unseal the sworn testimony given by Mitt Romney in a prior court case and to lift a gag order so that the parties can speak about Romney. Gloria Allred will be in court representing one of the parties in the case,” a source close to the situation tells

What’s this about? It’s possible we’re talking about this – namely that in 1983, Romney “bullied” a pregnant woman into carrying a risky pregnancy to term by using his position as the Mormon equivalent of a Catholic bishop to threaten her good standing in the LDS church if she had an abortion…

It was in August of that year, shortly after the Romney family returned from their vacation to Lake Huron, that a pregnant woman in her late 30s—Carrel Hilton Sheldon—was informed by her doctor that she had a life-threatening blood clot lodged in her pelvic region.

In treating the clot, Sheldon was administered an overdose of the blood thinner Heparin, an overdose that not only resulted in significant internal bleeding, but also extensive damage to her kidneys, to the point where she was on the verge of needing a transplant. Her life was clearly in peril.

Sheldon’s doctor advised her that the overdose of Heparin might have also harmed her 8-week-old fetus and, given the possible fatal repercussions to her, he recommended that she abort her pregnancy.

Sheldon, a mother of four at the time (a fifth child had died as an infant), was then a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), outside of Boston. The LDS leader in Massachusetts at that time, called the “stake president,” was a Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Gordon Williams, and he counseled Sheldon to follow her doctor’s advice to terminate the pregnancy and protect her own life, so that she could continue caring for her four living children.

“Of course, you should have the abortion,” she recalled him saying.

According to an account later written anonymously by Sheldon for the LDS women’s journal,Exponent II, it was after receiving this counsel from her Williams supporting the potentially life-saving procedure that she experienced an uninvited visit in her hospital from her Mormon bishop at the time, 36-year-old Mitt Romney, who adamantly opposed the abortion.

“He regaled me with stories of his sister and her retarded child and what a blessing the child had been to the family,” Sheldon wrote of the incident. “He told me that ‘as your bishop, my concern is with the child.'”

By the time of his visit to Sheldon’s hospital room, Romney was a rising star in Mormon circles. In the early 1970s, while completing both his MBA and his law degree at Harvard, he served in his LDS ward as a bishop’s assistant, a religious instructor for teens, and as a “church elder.”

In 1981, when he was only 34-years-old, he was named bishop of a ward just outside of Boston and was serving in that capacity when he confronted Sheldon about her pending abortion.

There was no empathy forthcoming from Romney, according to Sheldon, no warmth or sympathy. Moreover, Sheldon contends, Romney cast doubt on her story about the stake president’s approval. He simply didn’t believe her. He threatened to call him and track him down. He didn’t seem to care a lick about her personal well-being.

“At a time when I would have appreciated nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends,” Sheldon wrote, “I got judgment, criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection.”

In essence, Romney strapped Sheldon’s destiny to the hood of his Chevy and put his foot on the gas pedal, both literally and figuratively. He was so agitated about the matter that he confronted Sheldon’s parents about her decision as well.

According to R.B. Scott, author of the insightful Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics, Romney’s only concern was for the unborn fetus. Last year, Scott, who is also a Mormon, interviewed Sheldon’s 90-year-old father, Phil Hilton, who remembered the incident quite vividly.

“I have never been so upset about anything in my life,” he told Scott. “[Romney] is an authoritative type fellow who thinks he is in charge of the world.”

Hilton was so offended by Romney’s single-mindedness and absolute lack of sensitivity to his daughter’s health that he ordered the young bishop out of his home. Hilton told Scott that he was fully prepared to “throw [Romney] off the porch if he paused for even a second.” Romney kept moving.

Back at the hospital, a distraught Carrel Hilton Sheldon assented to her doctor’s advice and terminated her life-threatening pregnancy. She recovered from her medical crisis, moved to the West Coast, and continued to raise her four children.

And because of her ward bishop, Mitt Romney, Sheldon eventually left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, never to return. “Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium,” Sheldon wrote, “and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in my uterus—not for me!”

Romney’s a mean guy, see. Bullies women.

Or at least he did in 1983. Twenty-nine years ago.

But the story is apparently already out there, so one wonders what the removal of a gag order would be for. Maybe Allred’s involvement has to do with something else.

And then we run across this…

“I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to,” Romney would later declare, “although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me.” It became the patterned Romney response to other conflicted moments in his life (the bullying of a classmate in prep school was a similar incident). Mormon feminists came up with a term for Romney’s calculated lack of memory: “Romnesia.”

Romnesia. There it is. If you wonder where it came from, now you know.

And now you probably know that Allred and the Obama campaign are working hand in glove.

The article contains a litany of gripes from Mormon feminists who think Romney is authoritarian and patriarchal – including one from a troubled woman the Romneys had helped get odd jobs who’d had a son out of wedlock that he’d counseled to give up for adoption.

And that means he’d be a perfect target for a man-eating harpy like Allred.

So we’re going to get two weeks of Romney-as-Roman Grant.

Is this a big deal? Will it affect the election?

Romney as authoritarian and paternalistic – is that a vote-killer among a female population which can’t get enough of 50 Shades Of Grey?

Most people seem to know that Mormonism is a faith which is more paternalistic than other faiths, and that hasn’t been a deal-breaker with women for Romney so far. He’s made up a lot of ground where that supposed “gender gap” is concerned. Would this damage that progress?

Personally, I’d say it’s a major mistake to bring Gloria Allred into this. Gloria Allred is a carnival freak who lacks credibility and cheapens everything she touches.

After all, this is Gloria Allred…

You’re running for re-election as President of the United States and you’re going to fire off your last-minute October Surprise in painting Romney as a male chauvinist pig who browbeats women into carrying kids to term and/or giving them up for adoption – which is a pretty serious charge, if perhaps a bit insulting to women in that it implies Romney’s conduct as a Mormon church elder 25-30 years ago will be somehow determinative of the female vote despite all the more current issues they’re considering – and your vehicle to push that charge is Gloria Allred?

It’s a bit like getting proof of UFO’s and leaking it to the National Enquirer.

This will probably fall flat just because of its execution. It’s just like Donald Trump’s supposed bombshell tomorrow, which is apparently the release of divorce papers the Obamas had drawn up after our current president had blown his financial stack on a losing bid for Congress in 2000 – the upshot of this, as detailed in Ed Klein’s fascinating bestseller The Amateur, was that Michelle apparently thought he was a loser and wanted him out of her life. To the extent there is something in the divorce petition which would impugn the president’s character, like drugs or homosexuality, you might have a big enough explosion to impact the low-information voters Obama has depended on.

But Trump’s bombast and excessive showmanship takes away from the effect a bombshell like that might have. It’s a one- or two-day story, and by the end of the week nobody cares about it. And that’s what Allred brings to the table as well.

These revelations are probably a wash. Our guess is the country is in such a shape that titillating disclosures like these – from the sources they’re emanating from – just aren’t going to move the needle.

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