Martha Stewart feels bad for Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and all the other rich folks potentially facing prison time for trying to buy their kids into prestigious colleges. "I just feel sorry for them," Stewart told ET. "They might have made a bad mistake." It's the second time Stewart has expressed sympathy for the accused, saying previously: "It's just embarrassing for a family to go through what they're going through and horrifying that it even occurred. It's a sad thing."
Stewart knows all the sadness that comes with mistakes wealthy people sometimes make. Fifteen years ago, after a seven-week trial, she was found guilty of multiple charges related to insider trading. She ultimately served five months in a West Virginia Federal Prison Camp and five months under electronic monitoring. (Is being under house arrest even a punishment if you're Martha Stewart?) She was also fined $30,000 and banned from acting as a director, CEO or CFO for five years.
Ultimately, her selling all of her ImClone shares, after her broker informed her they were about to drop in value, saved her just under $50,000. It was seen by some as an inconsequential drop in a vast sea of Wall Street immorality. (Enron, after all, had only happened three years prior.) The press, however, was having none of it.
At the time, criminal defense lawyer, Scott Turow wrote in the New York Times: "There was some poor schmo (or schmoes) out there who bought her shares. Those buyers, no matter how diligent... could not have known what Martha Stewart did... Martha Stewart ripped her buyers off as certainly as if she'd sold them silk sheets that she knew were actually synthetic."
While views varied about whether Martha Stewart deserved what was coming to her (Rosie O'Donnell referred to the melee as a "bitch hunt," saying: "they are trying to rip down this woman"), opinion was certainly unified when it came to predicting the end of Martha Stewart's once-pristine empire. Everyone agreed that there was no way the career of the most famous homemaker in America could recover from the stain of prison time.