Martha Stewart Sentenced to Prison, Likely to Appeal

Stewart emerged from the courthouse defiantly saying a “small personal matter” had been blown far out of proportion.

“I’m not afraid. Not afraid whatsoever. I’m very sorry it had to come to this,” she told a crowd of media and supporters, according to the Associated Press.

“Today is a shameful day. It’s shameful for me and my family and for my beloved company,” she said, also declaring, “I’ll be back.”

In the courtroom, Stewart appealed for a reduced sentence, asking U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum to “remember all the good I have done.”

Stewart was sentenced to an additional five months of home confinement and fined $30,000.

If Stewart does serve time for her conviction, the judge recommended she be sent to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut, a minimum security women’s prison, but it is up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to determine the location, Reuters reported.

Former Merrill Lynch & Co. stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, who was convicted along with Stewart of lying about the 2001 stock sale, is expected to be sentenced later Friday.

On Dec. 27, 2001, Stewart made a brief phone call on her way to a vacation in Mexico, selling 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems Inc., a company run by her friend Sam Waksal.

Negative news that came out about the company the next day caused stock prices to tumble. Stewart saved $51,000.

Prosecutors alleged that Bacanovic ordered his assistant to tip Stewart that Waksal was trying to sell his shares.

Stewart and Bacanovic have maintained she sold because of a present plan to unload the stock when its price fell to $60 a share.

Stewart resigned as head of her $1 billion media empire, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., after her 2003 indictment, and surrendered her seat on the board following her conviction.

Shares in her company, which have lost half their value in the two years since the scandal began, surged $2.61, or more than 30 percent, to $11.25 in trading Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the AP.