Martha Stewart Sued for Selling Before Insider Scandal Broke

22 August 2002

Things are not getting better for America’s erstwhile domestic sweetheart, the fallen guru of tastefulness and stylish living Martha Stewart. Not only is she implicated up to the neck in the Imclone insider trading case – Stewart is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit from one of her own shareholders.

The disgruntled investor, Howard Rosen, alleges that Stewart and other officers of her company – Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia – sold shares in the company immediately before they plunged on news that the icon of integrity was involved in the Imclone affair. MSLO stock fell from a high of $20.93 in March to a low of $6.29 early this month.

The suit charges that Stewart et al sold their shares in MSLO for $79 million while knowing “of the fact that Stewart was secretly being investigated for insider trading and that this would severely damage Stewart’s image, the company's most precious asset.”

Responded a MSLO spokesperson: “[The suit] is without foundation and we intend to defend it aggressively.” The guru herself remained tastefully silent.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff