October 8th, 2004


This Blows My Mind -- Where Are All the Enron Execs While Martha Loses Millions and Serves Time?

Updated: 03:59 PM EDT
Martha Stewart Reports to Prison
Domestic Diva Begins Serving Five-Month Term in West Virginia

ALDERSON, W.Va. (Oct. 8) - Martha Stewart reported to prison before sunrise Friday to begin serving a five-month sentence for lying about a stock sale, slipping all but unnoticed past waiting supporters and reporters.

The celebrity homemaker said on her Web site that she was looking forward to returning to work in March and enjoying ''many brighter days ahead.''

Stewart, 63, was convicted in March of lying to investigators about why she sold stock in a biotech drug maker in December 2001, just before its price plunged. She was allowed to remain free pending appeal but asked to begin serving her time anyway, saying she wanted to reclaim her life.

Stewart is to remain at the prison until March. Inmates who are sentenced to a year or less are not eligible for early release because of good behavior.

''While I am away, my updates here will be less frequent, if not altogether impossible,'' Stewart said in a letter posted on her Web site. ''But please know this change is only an unfortunate reflection of my current circumstances, and in no way diminishes my commitment to my life's work or to the friends, colleagues, customers and supporters who make it possible.

''With your good wishes in my heart, I am looking forward to being back at work in March, and to many brighter days ahead.''

The promise of her arrival in Alderson lured five students to skip morning classes at the Beckley Beauty Academy. Stewart was already inside the prison when the students arrived, clad in beautician smocks, but they said they planned to return when she is released.

''I think she rocks. If she needs her hair done while she's here, she should call,'' Leighann Alderman said.

Stewart, who built a business empire dedicated to stylish living that includes magazines, television shows and a line of home fashions, has said she will miss her pets during her stay in prison, but hoped to be free in time for spring gardening.

Following her prison term, Stewart must serve five months of home confinement.

While in prison, Stewart will forgo five months of her $900,000 yearly base pay from her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. An employment contract approved Sept. 17 says the company will resume paying her when she leaves prison and is on home confinement.

Behind bars, Stewart will be eligible for jobs that pay 12 cents to 40 cents an hour.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia were down 69 cents, or 4.2 percent, at $15.90 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It had spiked as high as $19.60 last month, but is still well above its 52-week low of $8.25.

Famous inmates are nothing new to the town of Alderson, about 270 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. The prison, which opened in 1927, has hosted Billie Holiday, Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally and would-be presidential assassins Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore.

Stewart and her former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic were convicted in March of lying to federal investigators about why Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems Inc. stock on Dec. 27, 2001, the day before a negative announcement about the company that sent the price plunging.

She was sentenced in July to five months in prison and five months of house arrest for obstruction of justice, false statements and for the conspiracy to obstruct justice, make false statements, and commit perjury.

She was allowed to stay free pending appeal but decided to begin serving her time before the appeal was resolved.

''As I announced in September, although my lawyers remain very confident in the strength of my appeal and will continue to pursue it on my behalf, I have decided to serve my sentence now because I want to put this nightmare behind me as quickly as possible for the good of my family and my company,'' the statement on Stewart's Web site said.

Bacanovic received the same sentence. He remains free during his appeal and has announced no plans to enter prison.

Body Worlds

I skinned the back of my foot, my heel, at Scott's house the other night on his heavy metal security door and it hurt so much. I had taken off so much skin, it was deep and looked so bad that I couldn't figure out why it wasn't bleeding profusely. Now, sitting here two days later, it suddenly seems to have remembered that it forgot to bleed and has not only soaked through the Band-Aid but is dripping on the floor. I swear I didn't do anything. I don't think you can get stitches on your heel can you? Bodies are so weird.

There's a body exploration exhibit at our California Science Center called Body Worlds, that's been getting a lot of press here. Beau's school went on an all grades field trip to it today, but all of the displays are made out of real cadavers that have been injected or preserved in plastic somehow, and there were a few kids who were too freaked out at the idea of looking at cadavers to go. Beau was one of these kids.

When I went to school today to pick up Greg who is in his carpool I asked a few of the kids what they thought. No one seemed too freaked out, they mostly said they had thought it was interesting. The two things everyone seemed to be talking about were the preserved embryos/fetuses and how they liked seeing them at every stage of life in utero, from a week to nine months, and there was a very pregnant woman, (eight months), who had died of cancer and donated her body. Her body was posed on a table of some kind and you could actually lift her belly that was somehow hinged and see the baby inside her. I don't know, I'm upset just thinking about it all.

I'm going to include a link here but there's one picture of a body denuded of it's skin so please don't click it if you are the least bit sensitive about seeing bodies dissected.

The Official Body Worlds Page

I've been kind of hunkering down and hiding out a little bit, not answering the phone, not doing too much. I think I needed a break psychologically. I've been so stressed out for reasons I don't feel completely safe going into just yet. Now I'm just bored and back to wanting to do do do as always.

The Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode is on -- so funny.

I don't know what to say about the debate so I'm not going to say anything. You know that's kind of a contradiction in terms isn't it -- me not saying anything. Okay I will say that I loved the questions and I hated how wily the candidates were at evading answering them more directly. Honestly I got bored and I've already decided to vote for Kerry even though I wish it was John McCain running instead. You know I actually liked the vice presidential debate better than either of these other two. I liked Edwards, he has that charisma that my shallow self wants to see in Kerry. But like I said, it just doesn't matter I'm voting for anyone other than Bush.

But let me ask you something much more important, do the ad execs who make these god awful Magic Mountain ads -- you know the ones with the supposedly old man in the bald wig who dances to that terrible music -- think they would make anyone want to do anything other than set the people who are responsible for these intrusions into my life on fire? They sure don't make me want to go to Magic Mountain, it's quite the opposite really. There must be something about these ads that dredges up something deep down inside my subconscious because I swear I want to jump inside the TV and beat the shit out of that guy and I'm just not like this. I'm the pacifist girl, or I thought I was.

I think I'd better go take care of my heel, it looks really bad now, yeee.