They've been divorced for 20 years. Granted the husband does not sound like a great guy, but the article states he has a trust fund set up for his child, which I guess is better than nothing. When is enough, enough? Wealthy CEO torments ex-wife http://news.bostonherald.com/columnists eid=155266 Staples founders ex-wife: Ill be out on the street By Margery Eagan Boston Herald Columnist Sunday, September 3, 2006 Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, ex-wife of Staples founder, sits in her $5,200 a month, 14th-floor, concierge-at-the-door, elegantly furnished Back Bay apartment and tells you shes broke. She cant work. She cant afford a car, her medications, her rent, even the family springer spaniel, J.J., who she just gave away. She produces doctors notes detailing medical woes: possible lupus, bouts of pneumonia requiring hospitalizations, a history of cancer, petit mal seizures, plus recommendations for thrice weekly psychotherapy and psychiatry. She says her insurance wont cover mental health care. Im going to be out on the street, says Sullivan Stemberg, a tiny, 50-ish woman who alternates between an overanxious recitation of worries, and tears. Ive had a change of circumstances. And now she wants her ex-husband, Tom Stemberg, whose worth has been estimated at upwards of $150 million, to dramatically increase his support, guarantee health insurance forever and buy her another home in a concierge building. Im sicker and thinner every day, she says. Im not asking for anything more than he did for his other wife and girlfriend. Tom Stemberg, meanwhile, hailed as an entrepreneurial genius, has just gone through a second divorce and is now living with the mother of his newest child. His paternal shortcomings are evident in a letter he wrote to his then-12-year-old son with Sullivan Stemberg. It will not be possible for you to be part of our family in the foreseeable future because of the childs supposed misbehavior during their divorce, he wrote, blaming the child for taking sides between parents and creating unbearable hassles, such as monthly court appearances. Enter a political angle: That same child, the same year - 1996 - approached Mitt Romney, an early Staples money man, during a chance vacation meeting. The Wall Street Journal and Sullivan Stemberg herself say her son asked Romney for an appointment to speak about his mothers problems, financial and otherwise. Apparently this did not cause Mitt Romney alarm. In April, our would-be president began an op-ed article, also for the Journal, this way: Only weeks after I was elected governor, Tom Stemberg told me that if you really want to help people, find a way to get everyone health insurance, Romney wrote. When Romney expressed doubts, he said, Stemberg insisted, You can find a way. One hopes Romney was unaware at press time of the first Mrs. Stembergs cries for help. Now those of you who follow mega-rich divorces may recognize the nasty, sad Stemberg saga. For two decades its been detailed in the Herald, the Journal, Forbes magazine, everywhere. Soon after their 1987 divorce, Sullivan Stemberg was worth $5 million, but she spent $4 million contesting her settlement and defending a defamation suit brought by Stemberg and his second wife. At one point Sullivan Stembergs lawyer is quoted as saying, These people acted like adolescents. You want to pick them both up by the ear . . . Spokesman George Regan insisted Friday that Tom Stemberg is a very generous man, that their son has a hefty trust fund, that Stemberg has paid and will continuing paying her insurance - though no word on the house or increased support. He also said Sullivan Stembergs characterization of her ex-husband is unfair. Shes shopped this story all over town, Regan said. Theres no story. But there is. The story is what a rich, local superstar has done, or not done, for the mother of his son who cant support herself anymore. Its hard for mere mortals to relate to this, I know. Still, despite the awfulness on both sides, he should give her the money. Until then, heres hoping Romney and other local luminaries skip the Stemberg accolades. The personal is political here, and the personal reeks.