Martha Stewart: Keith D. Bedford/Getty Images/Newscom
November 01, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Back in June, when the scandal broke surrounding the investigation of Martha Stewart’s alleged insider-trading of ImClone stock, she waved off questions about the scandal during a cooking segment on what would be her final appearance on CBS’ ”Early Show,” insisting, ”I want to focus on my salad.” Four months later, she’s finally made her first public statement about l’affaire ImClone, though the remarks were brief and buried in a Wall Street conference call Thursday discussing the third-quarter performance of her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

MSLO earnings fell 42 percent for the quarter, the New York Times reports, in no small part because of the legal woes of its CEO. The company ”had to combat a great deal of negative publicity surrounding my personal affairs, which have unfairly overshadowed the great work being done at the company,” Stewart said, according to the New York Daily News. Her attorneys have insisted that she did nothing wrong in her December sale of her ImClone shares, claiming she sold them because she had a standing order to unload them if the price dipped below $60 per share, but her broker’s assistant has denied that such an order existed and has pleaded guilty to charges of accepting favors in return for initially parroting the stop-loss story.

Her Thursday comments aside, Stewart continues to keep a low profile. MSLO announced yesterday that she would be scrapping her annual Christmas TV special, which will cost the company a potential loss of $1 million in revenue, the Daily News reports. And while the company is test-marketing a new magazine, it’s burying Stewart’s name in the title. It’ll be called ”Everyday Food,” with the subtitle, ”From the Kitchen of Martha Stewart Living.” At least the magazine, which will specialize in quick-to-prepare recipes, will let Stewart focus on her salad.

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