CELEBSALES OWNER TESTIFIES: JURY CHUCKLES, JUDGE FUMES
Byline: Kristi Ellis
LOS ANGELES — New York apparel manufacturer Stanley Warner, owner of CelebSales Inc., took to the witness stand Wednesday and Thursday in U.S. District Court here, evoking initial laughter from jurors and anger from a judge with his contentious testimony in his dispute with TV star Roseanne and her former husband Tom Arnold.
Warner, who has been charged with breach of contract in the aborted plan to develop a large-size apparel line using Roseanne’s name, argued with Roseanne’s attorney Martin Singer on almost every point.
In an attempt to show that Warner created adverse publicity about the line, Singer got Warner to admit that he had called Roseanne “one of the 10 worst-dressed women” even before their clothing deal went sour.
Warner added that he had read this in “all of the national papers” before he said it. “I didn’t invent it,” he said.
After about an hour of testimony, Judge Harry L. Hupp called a 10-minute recess, advising Warner’s attorneys to counsel their client on how to answer questions.
However, the advice apparently didn’t take. At one point during Warner’s testimony on Thursday, his own attorney Jed Schlacter asked the manufacturer why he wanted to use Roseanne’s name if he thought she was one of the worst-dressed women. Warner said that he thought he could give her a makeover and referred to Eliza Doolittle’s metamorphosis in “My Fair Lady.”
Judge Hupp demanded that the comment be stricken and admonished Warner, saying: “Cut out this business of slamming people and answer the questions factually.”
As reported, Roseanne and Arnold sued Warner and his company for breach of contract when he failed to make a $250,000 payment due them in March 1994.
Warner countersued, stating that a magazine interview with Roseanne contained revelations about her life that he charged diminished the value of the clothing line for middle America.
Attorneys for Warner plan to call Roseanne and Arnold to the stand Tuesday.