It’s always the icy fembots. Martha Stewart bewitched a nation with her monotone instructions for wrapping birthday gifts. Then, in 2001, the homemaking empress was toppled from her throne when it emerged she was as crafty at Wall Street fiddles as she was at making prom corsages.
At issue was Martha’s sudden unloading of her ImClone shares the day before an FDA ruling sent the stock into free-fall. “Isn’t it nice to have brokers who tell you those things?” she said. But it sucks when they bring you down with them. The subsequent trial exposed America’s favorite homemaker as a devious scamster.
Likening herself to Nelson Mandela, Martha spent her five-month sentence at West Virginia’s Alderson Federal Prison Camp, scrubbing floors and reacquainting herself with the daily life of women who don’t have a TV show (or K-Mart line). She was called the “Contraband Queen” for making egg salad in her cell. She even suffered the indignity of losing a Christmas decorating contest.
Martha emerged from prison more popular than ever. The Martha Stewart Show returned to the airwaves. She launched her own brand of wine. A Martha Stewart housing development even sprung up in North Carolina. And her clothing line is still available at K-Mart. We love a scandal with a happy ending! — Charles Bottomley
Watch some of Martha’s most embarrassing moments after the jump.