Martha Stewart's Prison Stay Cost Her $1 Billion

11/19/2009 at 01:15 PM EST

Martha Stewart's Prison Stay Cost Her $1 Billion
Martha Stewart

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

Oh, the things she could have done.

Martha Stewart is finally putting a figure to the amount she lost when she was sent on charges lying to authorities, and it's a doozey.

"Probably more than a billion dollars, of course," she says matter-of-factly during an interview with Nightline to air Thursday night.

But as much as it pained her to lose those riches, it was humanity that really suffered, she says.



"When you are prosecuted in such a way, and a great portion of wealth is dissipated, all I can think so much is what I could have done with all that, and for the good of mankind, and I hope I can continue," she says.

But there's no looking back for the famously tough domestic diva. "How can I kick myself? There are other people to be kicked," she says, laughing. "Let's get on with the future."

Rating Rachael Ray

And despite a much larger field of competitors than when she essentially started the modern perfect-housemaker industry, she's not concerned with her rivals – including Rachael Ray, whom Stewart dissed and dismissed.

"Well, to me, she professed that she could – cannot bake," Stewart, 68, says. "She ... just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes ... and that's not good enough for me. I mean, I really want to write a book that is a unique and lasting thing. Something that will really fulfill a need in someone's library."

Not that Ray doesn't have her place, Stewart says.

"She's more of an entertainer, with a bubbly personality, than she is a teacher, which is me," Stewart says. "She's a totally different kind of cook than I am. I don't know if she has a garden; I don't think so."

Don't count on a pastry-flinging food fight, though – the two have been appearing on each other's shows, and Ray has publicly acknowledged that Stewart is the superior kitchen whiz.

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