updated 11/24/2004 7:45:18 AM ET 2004-11-24T12:45:18

Martha Stewart, in prison for one of her favorite holidays, says she is “safe, fit and healthy” and grateful this Thanksgiving for the support of her fans.

In a new message on her personal Web site, the homemaking maven also says she is being treated fairly by staff and other inmates at the federal women’s prison in Alderson, W.Va.

“As you would expect, the loss of freedom and the lack of privacy are extremely difficult,” the message says. “Visits from my friends, family and colleagues — together with your goodwill and best wishes — will get me through this chapter in my life.”

Stewart, 63, is serving a five-month sentence for lying to investigators about a 2001 personal stock sale and will be released from prison in early March. She is appealing her conviction.

Stewart said before entering prison that she was “very sad” about missing the holiday season. In the past, she has made TV appearances for the holidays, guiding Americans on how to prepare and expertly carve succulent turkey.

At Alderson, as at other federal prisons, Stewart and other inmates will be served a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, including turkey, said Dan Dunne, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

“It’s tradition that we do that for the purposes of recognizing the holiday for the inmates,” Dunne said Tuesday.

Stewart says she has received thousands of letters and 15,000 e-mails since reporting to prison Oct. 8. Her lawyers have said she spends much of her time at Alderson writing — perhaps for a book rumored to be in the works.

“I want you to know that I am well,” she wrote on the Web site. “I am safe, fit and healthy, and I am pleased to report that, contrary to rumors you might have heard, my daily interactions with the staff and fellow inmates here at Alderson are marked by fair treatment and mutual respect.”

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the media company Stewart founded, have more than doubled since she was sentenced in July and have traded recently near $21 — its highest level since the stock scandal broke in 2002.

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