Martha: Domestic Diva's Goose is Cooked

03/08/2004 AT 04:57 PM EST

As co-defendants Martha Stewart and Peter Bacanovic spent the weekend digesting Friday's guilty verdicts on charges of lying and conspiracy, TV legal experts speculated that prison time is definitely in the future for both parties.

Several also said Stewart may now also be guilty of a major public-relations misstep: Rather than offer any kind of apology or show any sign of remorse, Stewart, 62, instead immediately vowed on her Web site to "appeal the verdict and continue to fight to clear my name."

It also didn't help matters that statement was changed after it was released. Her initial statement read: "I am obviously distressed by the jury's verdict but I continue to take comfort in knowing that I have done nothing wrong and that I have the enduring support of my family and friends."

But soon after it was posted, the phrase "I have done nothing wrong" was removed.

Jury members, speaking on Sunday night's "Dateline NBC," gave a fascinating inside look at what went down during the trial, emphasizing that the defense seemed to not take the charges seriously enough to battle them intelligently. They also pointed to a moral in the story -- don't lie -- and invoked a quote from Sir Walter Scott's 1808 poem, "Marmion, A Tale of Flodden Field" "Oh What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

Immediately after the convictions were announced, Viacom pulled the syndicated show, "Martha Stewart Living," off of its CBS-owned and operated stations and UPN stations. In addition, Stewart faces probable civil lawsuits from investors who claim that her legal troubles sent the stock price of her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia into the trash bin.

As federal prosecutor David Kelly told reporters shortly after the verdict was delivered: "Whether you're John Q. Citizen, Martha Stewart or Peter Bacanovic, we are going to go after you if you tell these lies."

As for Stewart, who never took the stand in the case, her legendary toughness apparently kept her in good stead during the rigors of the trial, say reports. New York's Daily News reported that, rather than expressing regrets, Stewart spent the weekend plotting with legal and public-relations advisers on how to reverse her convictions and salvage her tarnished reputation.

On Monday, Stewart is due to check in with the New York probation office for processing in anticipation of her June 17 sentencing. In addition, the SEC could revoke her seat on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and possibly force her to step down as chief creative officer of the media company.

Meantime, Helen Bacanovic, 72, mother of 41-year-old Peter, told the New York Post: "I personally wanted him to take the stand. Who will fight better for your life than yourself." But defense lawyers rejected that idea, she said. "They were full of fears, always saying to Peter, 'Don't do this, don't go out, don't talk to Martha.'"

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