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The forewoman of the jury that convicted White House aide Oliver North is the cousin of a secretary who works for the prosecution, a spokesman for the independent counsel's office said Monday.

James Wieghart said the matter was brought to the attention of the court and North's attorneys "when we learned of the relationship from the secretary" during North's trial in the Iran-Contra affair.U.S. District Judge Gerhard Gesell, who presided in the case, held a hearing on the matter, but the record of that proceeding has been sealed.

Denise Anderson, the forewoman of North's jury, said in an interview in this week's People magazine that she bumped into her cousin, Gertrude Griffin, but did not discuss the case with the woman.

"She knew her job, and I knew mine," Anderson said. "Just because she worked for Keker didn't mean diddlywink."

Anderson was referring to John Keker, who headed the prosecution team in the North case. Wieghart said Griffin works in the independent counsel's office but is not specifically assigned to Keker.

Anderson did not report the meeting or her relationship to Griffin to Gesell, according to People.