Love her, hate her or envy her, there is no doubt that Martha Stewart is one public personality that has truly endured the test of time. She is more than a celebrity. In fact, she is a household name. She is also a media mogul who managed to build quite a sizable empire.
For Stewart, the path to becoming the queen of domesticity started way back in 1982. At that time, she came out with her first book. Several years later, the magazine Martha Stewart Living published its first issue in 1990. According to Stewart, “It was an instant success.” Just three years later, she also started the “Martha Stewart Living” tv show. And this went on to win as many as 18 Emmy awards.
Around this time, many thought Stewart was unstoppable, but that was not exactly true. As many would know, Stewart suffered some serious setbacks. Today, however, it seems she is already back to dominating the lifestyle industry once more.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at 19 little known facts that Stewart would probably want people to forget:
19 She stopped dating Anthony Hopkins because of a movie
A long time ago, Stewart had dated Sir Anthony Hopkins. However, when he came out in “The Silence of the Lambs,” Stewart refused to pursue the relationship further. During an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show, she remarked, “Oh, I loved him (Hopkins), but he was… scary. I was going to invite him up to Maine; I have this beautiful home in Maine… but then I reconsidered because I saw that movie again.” She later added, “I would have probably had a very nice relationship with Anthony Hopkins, but I couldn’t get past the Lecter thing.”
18 She once dated someone younger than her daughter
As it turns out, Stewart has a thing for younger men. And one time, she even ended up dating someone younger than her own daughter. While appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show,” she talked about going to Egypt with her boyfriend and her family and making a shocking discovery about the former. She said, “During the trip, I found out that he was younger than my daughter! I had no idea. I didn't know… Because he looked older, he had a little gray in his hair. But he was like 34 years old or something.”
17 She knows how sexting works
Stewart may not be a millennial, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know how to do engage in sexting. This much became clear when guested on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and there was a question in the “I Have/I Have Never” game in which she admitted to having sexting experience. However, she never mentioned who she sexted.
16 She is an extreme perfectionist
When it comes to Stewart, it seems that perfection is everything. Even her own daughter, Alex, knows this about her mother. According to a report from ABC News, Alex once wrote in her book “Whateverland: Learning to Live Here,” “If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again. I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head.”
15 Martha and her daughter didn’t always get along
As you can probably tell by now, Stewart didn’t always have the warmest relationship with her daughter. In fact, in her book, Alex also wrote, “My mother will occasionally complain that I don't invite her over for dinner. But can you blame me? Because, sometimes this is what will happen: Whatever I serve, she'll sip it, taste it, make a face and push it away.”
14 She doesn’t always have the most ladylike manners
Apparently, Stewart doesn’t always maintain ladylike manners, especially when she’s not out in public. In her book, Stewart’s daughter, Alex, also wrote, “Mother always peed with the door open. I remember saying, 'You know, now I have friends over! You can't do that anymore! It's gotta stop! My friends' parents don't do it! Give me a break here!”
13 She is tough to work for
A source once told Vanity Fair, “The company should be more successful, but it is just limping along, because of her—because she doesn't trust anybody and she has to control everything. Martha is delightful, charming, brilliant, fascinating—if you are in the room alone with her. You bring a third person in and it becomes poisonous. She has to dominate.”
12 She would use company money as her personal expense account
While doing a profile on the media mogul, New York Magazine’s Benjamin Wallace noted, “One of the intriguing aspects of her high compensation is that if she were simply to take a $1 salary, along the lines of Steve Jobs, the market would almost certainly reward the move with a hike in her stock price; and an increase of just $1 would boost Stewart’s net worth by tens of millions of dollars. Multiple former executives see this as Stewart at her least rational.”
11 She’s an extravagant spender
During an interview with Vanity Fair, a former executive in Stewart’s company said, “Martha's an omnivore. She just wants more, more, more. She has however many houses. Even though she has a million pieces of garden ornaments, she buys more garden ornaments. Even though she has a million trees, she buys more trees. It's her genius and it's in some ways her downfall—that 'always hungry' thing.”
10 Stocks landed her in prison
According to a copy of the complaint made against Stewart and her broker, Peter Bacanovic, by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) on the SEC’s website, “Stewart's unlawful trade came as ImClone and the market anxiously awaited an imminent decision from the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") on one of ImClone's key products, a cancer drug called Erbitux.” In the end, Stewart served five months behind bars.
9 She was denied a U.K. visa
Following her conviction, Stewart was denied visa into Britain. A spokesman for Britain’s Home Office also told Reuters, “We continue to oppose the entry to the UK of individuals where we believe their presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good or where they have been found guilty of serious criminal offenses abroad.”
8 Her pots were once recalled for burn and cut dangers
Over the years, Stewart has sold several home products, including some pots that proved to be too dangerous to use. According to Consumer Reports, 960,000 pans from the Martha Stewart Collection Enamel Cast Iron Casseroles line were recalled due to “enamel cracking and flying off the casseroles during use.”
7 Her cake knife and server set caused serious injuries to buyers
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Macy’s has received four reports of the handles on the knife and server breaking, resulting in lacerations, including cuts requiring stitches.” As many as 18,900 cake knife and server sets were part of the 2017 recall. The product had been sold at Macy’s.
6 Her frying pans once turned into hazardous projectiles
In 2015, stainless steel frying pans from the Martha Stewart Collection sold at Macy’s were recalled as its parts could become dangerous projectiles. According to a report from CNN, the pan’s handle could pop off and seriously harm consumers. In fact, it was found that at least seven customers already reported burns, welts, and bruises.
5 Her magazine was sued for allegedly sharing information with a third party
Aside from encountering trouble due to some of her products, it turns out Stewart’s publication also got into hot water for allegedly selling subscriber information. According to the website Top Class Actions, this resulted in a class-action lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living in which “the company sold subscriber information without their knowledge or consent.”
4 She’s had to sell her empire for cheap
At one point, Stewart’s business empire was worth a lot of money. In fact, according to a report from Forbes, Stewart’s company once boasted of a post-IPO value of around $2 billion. But then, she went to jail and there was also an economic downturn. And when Sequential Brands Group finally bought the Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse brands, it only carried a price tag of $355 million. Meanwhile, last April, Sequential Brands Group announced in a press release that it has sold the business for just $175 million.
3 Her version of ‘The Apprentice’ failed
As you may recall, Stewart once had her own version of “The Apprentice” on NBC. However, it only ran for a single season and many believed it was due to the show’s dismal ratings. On the other hand, NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett said that the plan had always been to “produce only one cycle” of the show, according to 9 News.
2 She once threw shade at Blake Lively
As you may know, Stewart is never afraid to speak her mind. And so once, it seemed that she decided to take a dig at actress Blake Lively and her now-defunct blog Preserve. According to the Huffington Post, Stewart remarked, “I mean, it’s stupid, she could be an actress! Why would you want to be me if you could be an actress?” Later on, though, the two had proved that there is no bad blood between them. After all, they’re even neighbors.
1 She has had a feud with Gwyneth Paltrow
For quite some time, many believed that Stewart had a serious feud going on with Gwyneth Paltrow who had successfully established the lifestyle brand Goop. During an interview, Stewart was quoted saying, “[Paltrow] just needs to be quiet. She's a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn't be trying to be Martha Stewart.” Meanwhile, according to ABC News, Paltrow later responded saying, “If I'm really honest, I'm so psyched that she sees us as competition. I really am.”
Sources: ABC News; Vanity Fair; New York Magazine