Set­ting the Record Straight


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Look­ing younger than her years, Martha Ste­wart spoke with zeal about her life’s pas­sions at a re­cent event in Los An­ge­les. “I love to stay busy, and it’s great that I can con­tinue to choose what I want to do,” the expert on gra­cious liv­ing told Closer ex­clu­sively at Dec­o­ra­tion & De­sign Build­ing’s Power of Sto­ry­telling Fall Mar­ket. “There’s a lot I still have to do — like write my au­to­bi­og­ra­phy!”

In fact, Martha, 76, has al­ready be­gun. “She’s been putting down ideas for two years,” con­fides an in­sider. Other au­thors have tried to cap­ture her spec­tac­u­lar life, in which she turned her tal­ents for food and de­sign into a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar com­pany and then nearly lost it all when she spent five months in prison in 2004 for ob­struct­ing jus­tice in an in­sider stock trad­ing scan­dal. But the star has al­ways felt the books fell short. An un­flat­ter­ing 2010 tell-all writ­ten by her for­mer friend Mar­i­ana Paster­nak, which painted Martha as petty, stingy and man-hun­gry, “deeply hurt” her, says the in­sider. “She be­lieves that oth­ers have given the wrong im­pres­sion of her, and she hasn’t ever re­ally told her story.” Un­til now.

“There is a lot of in­spi­ra­tion around us that we can see ev­ery


— Martha

While the do­mes­tic doyenne hopes to set the record straight, writ­ing her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy isn’t about re­venge. “It’s re­ally been a pas­sion of hers; Martha finds ways to squir­rel away an hour or two ev­ery day to work on it,” says the friend, who adds that Martha hopes to re­veal the lessons of per­se­ver­ance, grat­i­tude and hu­mil­ity she learned as she re­built her life fol­low­ing her in­car­cer­a­tion. “Martha wants to present the story of how she dealt with set­backs and re­claimed her life to the point where she is as happy as she’s ever been. It isn’t just about busi­ness — it was about find­ing some­thing in­side her­self.”


In more re­cent years, Martha has re­ceived other in­sights about life from her grand­daugh­ter, Jude, 6, and grand­son Tru­man, 5, the chil­dren of her daugh­ter, Alexis, 52. “Their cu­rios­ity keeps your cu­rios­ity go­ing,” ex­plains Martha, who likes to cook or craft with them. “The boy is a great chop­per — he chops gar­lic for his mother ev­ery day,” she gushes. “And the girl is a lit­tle Martha — don’t tell her mother that!”

Like most grand­par­ents, Martha ad­mits that she “to­tally” spoils them — al­though her gifts are par­tic­u­larly in­dul­gent. “I will take them any­where they want to go,” says Martha, who has al­ready vis­ited the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands and Botswana with the chil­dren. “We are go­ing to Dubai for Thanks­giv­ing to see the tallest build­ing in the world,” she adds proudly.

It’s clear that as long as she has breath in her body, Martha will never stop reach­ing for the heights — an at­ti­tude she’ll write about in her mem­oir. “Martha wants her read­ers to un­der­stand that they have more in them than they think,” ex­plains her friend. “If she would have seen what was com­ing when she started her com­pany in 1976, she would have been over­whelmed. But she found she could tackle the world, and that you have to be ready for each new step you take in life.” — Louise A. Bar­ile,

with re­port­ing by Ja­clyn Roth

“My big­gest life les­son is: Grow a gar­den! Have a dog and grow your gar­den.”

— Martha

Re­gard­ing her grand­kids, “I have to re­spect the mid­dle­man and her wishes — that’s my daugh­ter,” Martha says of Alexis. When she’s not co-host­ing Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Din­ner Party on VH1, Martha’s busy writ­ing and man­ag­ing her do­mes­tic em­pire.

“They know ev­ery­thing,” Martha raves of her grand­chil­dren, Tru­man and Jude. “They speak three lan­guages!”

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