Martha Stewart Discusses Troubles

From Associated Press

Martha Stewart estimates that the federal investigation into her ImClone Systems stock trade has cost her about $400 million, according to an interview with the New Yorker magazine, which reaches newsstands today.

Stewart told New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin that the losses have been mostly in the decline of her more than 30 million shares in her multimedia company, but also in legal fees and lost business opportunities.

Stewart is chairwoman and chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. Its shares closed Friday at $9.29 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have traded as high as $20.93 in the last year.

It was her first lengthy media interview on the subject since news broke in June that federal prosecutors were investigating Stewart's sale of ImClone shares.

Stewart noted that her image has suffered and said she's "puzzled by the public's delight" in her troubles.

"My business is about homemaking," she said. "And that I have been turned into or vilified openly as something other than what I really am has been really confusing."

She added, "It's sort of the American way to go up and down the ladder, maybe several times in a lifetime. And I've had a real long up.... And now I've had a long way down."

The Jan. 19 interview took place at Stewart's Westport, Conn., home for several hours with several of her advisors, the magazine said.

Stewart discussed her sentiments about the probe and the public reaction. She would not speak on the record about the facts of the case and a magazine spokeswoman declined to say whether Stewart's lawyer was present.

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