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Martha Stewart Released from Prison

  • Carol Pearson

Martha Stewart, the entrepreneur who built an empire and earned a fortune telling people how to cook, garden and decorate their homes, is out of prison and at her home in the eastern state of New York. Carol Pearson has more.

After serving five months in prison for lying to a judge about an illegal stock trade, Martha Stewart will spend the next five months under house arrest on her sprawling New York estate. In prison, Ms. Stewart earned 12 cents an hour. Now she returns to her salary of $900,000 a year. Ms. Stewart made no comments as she left jail, but a statement on her website says, "the experience of the last five months has been life altering and life affirming." There's little doubt among her supporters that the public will now know a new Martha Stewart.

Kathy Hermann says, "She's got a new perspective on life. So, in that way, you might say it's a good thing, but still it was prison."

The 63-year-old multimillionaire will be allowed to leave her home for 48 hours a week. But she will have plenty to keep herself busy at home. She expects to resume her TV show and start another. She'll resume writing for her magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and working on her line of home products.

Ms. Stewart will not be allowed to lead her business empire unless the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal financial watchdog, grants permission. That is thought to be unlikely. Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has been losing money, but at the same time, stock in the company has gone up.

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