Stewart Set for New Lifestyle –- Five Months in Jail

20 July 2004

The axe has finally fallen on domestic diva Martha Stewart as she was fined $30,000 (€24,200; £16,000) and sentenced to five months in prison for obstructing justice and lying to the US government over her sale of shares in ImClone Systems.

Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, also sentencing Stewart to five months of house arrest and two years supervised release, said that her punishment was "lenient" for what was "a very serious matter." Stewart could have received a sixteen-month jail sentence according to federal guidelines.

Requesting that the judge "remember all the good I have done", Stewart later beseeched her supporters to purchase her magazine Martha Stewart Living. Shares in Martha Stewart rose 37% after her sentencing.

"What was a small personal matter became, after two years, almost a fatal circus event" lamented Stewart as she described her judgement day as "shameful". He lawyer says she will appeal against the sentence, although experts are doubtful of her chances.

• Meantime, Stewart's former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic was also sentenced to five months jail for trying to cover up movements of stocks from Stewart's account.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff