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Jail Time Not Likely, Stewart Says

October 14, 2003|From Associated Press

Martha Stewart, in her first interview since she was indicted in a stock-trading scandal in June, said she was scared but did not believe she would go to prison.

The comments, released Monday by ABC News, came in an interview conducted over the weekend by Barbara Walters that will air in November, two months before Stewart's scheduled trial.

"Who wouldn't be scared?" Stewart said, according to the ABC excerpt. "Of course I'm scared. The last place I would ever want to go is prison. And I don't think I will be going to prison, though."

Stewart, 62, is accused of selling ImClone Systems Inc. stock in 2001 because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal was selling. The next day, the stock plunged on a negative report from the Food and Drug Administration.

Stewart and her former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for trial Jan. 12.

Stewart's attorneys have asked a federal judge to dismiss counts of securities fraud and obstruction of justice against her. She also is charged with conspiracy and two counts of making false statements.

The five counts carry a total maximum prison sentence of 30 years, but Stewart probably would receive far less under federal sentencing guidelines if convicted.

ABC declined to release further excerpts or say where the interview took place. A Stewart spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

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