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Stewart: “I Am Distressed But Will Appeal and Fight to Clear My Name”

In a “Dear Friends” letter posted on her Web site, Westport’s Martha Stewart said she is distressed by today’s jury verdict but will fight to clear her name.marthatalks030504sm.jpg

“I am obviously distressed by the jury’s verdict but I continue to take comfort in knowing that I have the confidence and enduring support of my family and friends,” Stewart said.

“I will appeal the verdict and continue to fight to clear my name. I believe in the fairness of the judicial system and remain confident that I will ultimately prevail.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the words of encouragement I have received from thousands of supporters.

“It is your continued support that will keep me going until I am completely exonerated.”

Initially, the message said, “I am obviously distressed by the jury’s verdict, but I continue to take comfort in knowing that I have done nothing wrong and that I have the enduring support of my family and friends.”

The reference to having done “nothing wrong” was quickly dropped, however. The sentencing guidelines that judges use consider whether defendants have accepted responsibility for their actions

Before leaving Manhattan Federal Court, Stewart was asked by a New York Daily News reporter to comment on the fairness of the trial.

“The fairness of the trial?” Stewart replied, her voice cracking and her eyes red. “The unfairness of the trial, that’s the right comment.”

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