Martha Stewart Strolls Estate on First Day Home
Stewart strolls estate on her first day home (FWST – AP)
Martha Stewart spent her first hours out of prison on Friday walking the dog, picking lemons in her greenhouse and making hot cocoa for reporters. “I’m dreaming of a cappuccino,” she confessed in one of several impromptu chats with the horde of media at her snow-dappled estate in Bedford, N.Y. “This is a funny story: All of us asked the guards every day for a cappuccino … just as a joke,” she said. “And so I get here, and I have a spot for a cappuccino machine, but it didn’t work! So, I didn’t have any cappuccino.”
No, this is not a Jeff Goldstein satire. It’s honest-to-goodness news. Let’s see. She’s just gotten out of prison. She’s under house arrest. What, exactly, would she do other than walk around her home?
The intrepid reporters at the Chicago Tribune, however, dig deeper:
Trimmer after five months as Inmate No. 55170-054 in a West Virginia federal women’s prison, an ebullient Martha Stewart walked the grounds of her 153-acre Westchester County estate Friday, renewing her acquaintance with plants and pets, and engaging in light repartee with reporters staked outside the stone wall.
Stewart, 63, will be getting even more familiar with what is termed her “winter home” during a five-month period of supervised release that lasts until August. During that time, she must wear an electronic anklet and abide by strict guidelines limiting her movement and, while in Katonah, confining her to the main house. This weekend, in fact, probably is the only time she can stroll freely about the grounds. Stewart took advantage of that freedom Friday when she emerged from the house just past noon and walked to visit some cottages, a hothouse and the horses she had said she would miss while in the federal pokey.
Within 72 hours, she must report–either in person or by telephone–to the federal probation office in the courthouse in White Plains, N.Y., to finish her sentence for obstruction of justice and lying to government officials. At that time, said Christopher Stanton, chief U.S. probation officer for the Southern District of New York, “They would then set up a first meeting that would either take place at the courthouse or her home.” At that meeting, Stanton said, Stewart will be fitted with the electronic anklet–in black plastic, it’s not exactly designer wear–that will monitor her movements. “Once that unit is installed, she must remain within her home,” he said, except for certain specific exceptions. Stewart can leave the house for work, for a maximum of 48 hours a week, or she can leave for prearranged or precleared appointments, such as doctors’ visits, church or grocery shopping.
She has to stay in her “winter home” into August? Surely, that violates the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment?
Update: This ought to help ease the lonely months until August:
Domestic diva Martha Stewart, released after five months of incarceration for lying to investigators about insider trading, has come out three times richer. Only in the US can an entrepreneur convicted of felony and imprisonment, invite an even greater celebrity status during a prison term and enjoy dramatic increase in personal wealth.
Stewart, who had sold a warm and chic lifestyle to middle US, had made millions of dollars before taking a nasty hit over allegations of insider trading. She was worth little over $335 million from the 60 percent stake in her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. about a year ago when she was convicted. Today she is reportedly worth over a billion dollars.
Only in America.