Video: Stewart's daughter speaks out

updated 3/18/2004 12:15:12 PM ET 2004-03-18T17:15:12

In hopes of winning less time in prison, Martha Stewart has asked friends to write to the judge who will determine her sentence for lying about a stock sale.

Stewart asked people to write about her character, work ethic and integrity in letters to U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who will issue the sentence in June.

“If possible, include any memorable experiences you have had with me to explain the basis of any expressed opinion(s),” Stewart wrote in her letter, dated March 12.

The gossip Web site Gawker.com obtained the Stewart letter and posted it Wednesday. A source close to Stewart, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, confirmed its authenticity Thursday.

Stewart is expected to receive 10 to 16 months in prison when she is sentenced June 17, although Cedarbaum could allow her to spend some of the sentence in home confinement.

On March 5, a federal jury convicted Stewart and broker Peter Bacanovic of obstructing justice and lying to the government about Stewart’s sale of 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001.

The government said she sold because she was tipped that ImClone CEO Sam Waksal was unloading his shares. Stewart’s lawyers conceded she got that tip — but said she sold because of a pre-set plan to sell when the stock hit $60.

Stewart has since resigned from the board of her media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, assuming the new title of founding editorial director. She resigned as CEO after she was indicted last year.

Criminal convicts routinely send testimonials to judges in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.
In June 2003, lawyers for Waksal turned in about 120 letters supporting him, including one from “The Sopranos” actress Lorraine Bracco praising him for helping her through personal troubles.

Waksal, who pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges, was still sentenced to more than seven years in prison — the maximum possible.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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