Nasty TV movies now appear to be the least of Martha Stewart’s problems. The how-to mogul is the target of a criminal investigation related to her alleged insider trading, and may be indicted ”in the near future,” Stewart’s company said in a statement Tuesday. Her lawyer, Robert Morvillo, told Reuters that Stewart would plead not guilty to any criminal charges, and would take the case to trial. Meanwhile, her company said that it also expects the Securities and Exchange Commission to file a civil suit against Stewart.
Stewart (who was played by Cybill Shepherd in an unflattering biopic last month) has denied charges that she sold 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock in December 2001 based on a tip from her friend, Sam Waksal, the company’s then-CEO. Stewart ditched the stock just before ImClone announced that the FDA hadn’t approved the company’s new cancer drug, but she said that her broker sold it based on a preexisting agreement, not on any insider information. The Wall Street Journal reported last October that Stewart faced possible charges of insider training, making false statements, and obstruction of justice.