Big house

Martha Stewart passed time in prison in the most Martha Stewart way possible

Martha Stewart. (Photo by Denis Contreras/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

A little more than a decade ago, Martha Stewart spent about five months serving time in federal prison for obstructing an investigation into her sale of Imclone stock. The lifestyle maven has finally opened up about how she whiled away the hours while incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. Turns out, she spent her time there in the most Martha Stewart way possible.

Speaking at a brunch session at the Cannes Lions advertising festival on Thursday, Stewart told the audience that the prison food was just not acceptable — well beyond its expiration date, she said. “That’s why I made jam out of the crab apples on the trees,” Stewart explained.

But creating culinary delights from fruit harvested on prison grounds only scratched the surface of what she would achieve during her sentence. Stewart undertook a decorative project that kept her up into the nights — and also may have violated prison policy.

“You’re allowed to make three things in a year, I think, and I only had five months so I made an entire creche … the entire scene of the nativity,” she revealed. “So I had many figures, something like 15 figures, and you’re only allowed to make three, but I persuaded them the whole nativity was one and they fell for it. You couldn’t just make three camels — you had to make everything,” Stewart said. Naturally, her fellow inmates were enthralled, so Stewart taught them how to do ceramics. Perhaps those moments served as inspiration for her popular Facebook Live segments.

As for the ceramic nativity scene, she mailed it home to her family and at the holidays, it’s become iconic among the Stewart clan.

“Everyone wants the nativity, every Christmas,” she told the audience. “And people always say: ‘Where did you get that from?'” Then, she quipped that she likes to add, “My prison number’s on it, still!”

Stewart went on to discuss how serving time in the big house impacted her business empire.

Read the full story at Business Insider.

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