Trial Begins: Martha Jurors in Place
01/26/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum also selected six alternates, and attorneys on both sides are expected to make their opening statements on Tuesday. The trial, which is about obstruction of justice, is expected to run at least one month.
Stewart, 62, and her former Merrill Lynch & Co. broker, Peter Bacanovic, both stand accused of lying to investigators looking into the domestic diva's sale of shares of ImClone Systems Inc. (a biotech company founded by her friend Sam Waksal).
Stewart disposed of her shares just one day before they tumbled in value following the announcement that federal regulators had rejected one of ImClone's new drugs. From the start of the probe, Stewart has maintained her innocence, saying that she and Bacanovic had a standing agreement to sell the shares once they dipped below a certain worth.
Also on the jury, according to Reuters: a translator; a woman who recently sued her dry cleaner for damages over an antique dress; an events planner whose husband knows high-profile technology analyst Mary Meeker; and a man who blames the Enron scandal for losses in his mutual fund.
Selection followed four days of screening potential jurors, who faced private interviews that sought information on everything from whether they believed defense lawyers are "less truthful" than prosecutors, to just how familiar they are with the public persona of Martha Stewart.