Martha: My Prison Nickname Was M. Diddy

Martha: My Prison Nickname Was M. Diddy
Martha Stewart
Anders Krusberg/Reuters/Landov

updated 07/05/2005 at 04:00 PM EDT

originally published 07/05/2005 04:00PM

As her five-month house arrest period comes to an end early in August, Martha Stewart looks back on her experiences as "hideous" in a new interview.

Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine, Stewart, who turns 64 on Aug. 3, says prosecutors made a legal example out of her in order "to scare other people."

"Of course that is what it's all about," Stewart tells the magazine, as quoted by the Associated Press. "Bring 'em down a notch, to scare other people. If Martha can be sent to jail, think hard before you sell that stock." (Stewart was convicted not for selling her stock, but for lying to federal investigators about why she chose to sell the stock.)

Asked if she thinks she needs to tell anyone she's sorry, Stewart apologizes for the "chaos" her prosecution caused but suggests that it was not her fault. "Let's see, how can I say this? I'm on appeal. You don't appeal if you think that you should be sorry," she says.

Stewart also reveals that her nickname among inmates in the West Virginia penitentiary was M. Diddy, and that "I hate lockdown. It's hideous."

On a lighter note she reportedly says of her electronic monitor: "I watched them put it on. You can figure out how to get it off. … It's on the Internet. I looked it up."

Ever aware of the harsh personality that has brought her criticism in the past, Stewart owns up to hoping to appear softer than before on her upcoming version of NBC's The Apprentice. As has been previously reported, she’ll not bellow "You’re fired" as Donald Trump does. Instead, she says: "We are trying to come up with other ways to say it. For instance, if someone is from Idaho, I could say, 'You're back in Boise for apple-picking time.'"

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