“Domestic Diva” Martha Stewart is back in the kitchen of her 153-acre New York estate after being released from a West Virginia prison early this morning.
Stewart was ushered out of the gates of a women’s prison in Alderson, W.Va., where she has spent the past five months, at approximately 12:30 a.m. EST in one of two dark-windowed sport utility vehicles.
Martha Stewart (Marthatalks.com)
A smiling Stewart waved to supporters gathered at a nearby airport as she climbed aboard a private jet that flew her to Westchester County Airport. She was then driven to her $16 million estate in Katonah, N.Y.
Stewart was later seen strolling around the snow-laden grounds with her daughter, Alexis and petting her horses.
In a statement issued to her Web site, Stewart described her prison experience as “life altering and life affirming.”
“Someday, I hope to have the chance to talk more about all that has happened, the extraordinary people I have met here and all that I have learned,” she said in the release.
The homemaking maven must report to her probation officer within 72 hours to be fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet so federal authorities can keep track of her over the next five months during which she will remain under house arrest.
Under the terms of the confinement agreement, Stewart can leave her home for up to 48 hours a week to go to work, church and run approved errands.
Freed from incarceration, Stewart can begin receiving her reported $75,000 monthly salary.
She has two new television shows preparing to launch, and a fourth line of her Bernhardt furniture will be unveiled this summer. Also, the merger of Kmart and Sears could double shelf space for her housewares, and her name could soon be stamped on a variety of products, including women’s clothing and DVDs.
In June, a federal court sentenced Stewart to five months in prison, five months under house arrest and two years’ probation for lying about her 2001 sale of ImClone stock. Stewart unloaded her shares after receiving a tip from longtime friend Sam Waksal a day before the company announced bad news, sending the stock plunging and saving her $51,000.
WorldNetDaily reported Wednesday on Stewart’s “makeover” touted in a Newsweek magazine cover story in which a photo of Stewart’s face was joined with someone else’s slim body.
The story said that while Stewart and her media empire face many challenges, prison had been good for business and her figure, helping melt worry lines and about 20 pounds.
“Paparazzi photos reveal a fighting-trim Stewart strolling the lush grounds of Alderson (a.k.a. Camp Cupcake) with her daughter, Alexis,” the Newsweek story said.
The magazine’s editors believe there’s nothing wrong with their “photo illustration,” which they note was identified as such inside the magazine.
“Anybody who knows the story and is familiar with Martha’s current situation would know this particular picture” was an illustration and not a photograph, said assistant managing editor Lynn Staley, according to the Associated Press.
The Newsweek story declared prison “Martha’s best career move since she broke out of Westport, Conn., 23 years ago.”
Since her sentencing, stock in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has quadrupled, making her a billionaire once again, the magazine reported.
Stewart resigned as CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. when she was indicted in 2003.