LOS ANGELES — In the opening day of testimony in his countersuit against TV star Roseanne and her ex-husband, Tom Arnold, New York apparel manufacturer Stanley Warner said Wednesday that back in May 1993 — before any deals among them were signed — he met with Roseanne in Iowa and told her that Joan Rivers sells $1 million worth of goods an hour on television.
Roseanne, he testified, then said to him, “If Joan Rivers can sell $1 million, I can do $5 million.”
A little while later, Roseanne took the stand and denied that such a conversation had ever taken place. “If I was going to say that,” she said, “I would have said $50 million.”
In a trial that sometimes sounds like the script of a Roseanne show, Warner, the owner of CelebSales Inc., had earlier testified that he would never have signed a licensing deal with Roseanne and Arnold had he known how uncooperative they would turn out to be.
“I thought for that kind of money somebody should talk to me,” said Warner, during testimony in federal court here, explaining why he did not make a payment of $250,000 to the couple.
The agreement between Warner and the couple had called for him to pay Roseanne and Tom Arnold $1 million in royalties that would come from a large-size apparel line bearing Roseanne’s name.
The couple has charged Warner with breach of contract. He, in turn, has filed a countersuit and is asking for $24 million plus punitive damages. Testimony in the breach of contract suit began Feb. 27 and concluded Tuesday.
Warner also said a Vanity Fair article in January 1994 containing intimate revelations about Roseanne’s life diminished the value of the clothing line for Middle America. Roseanne, in her testimony, disagreed.
At press time Wednesday, Arnold had just begun testifying. The trial is expected to go to the jury today.

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