Martha Stewart's trial date set -- The homemaking icon will go on trial in federal court on January 12

By Brian Hiatt
Updated July 01, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Martha Stewart: Jeff Christensen/REUTERS/NewsCom

Better spruce up that courtroom: Martha Stewart will go on trial Jan. 12 on federal charges stemming from a December, 2001, stock trade. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum set the trial date during Stewart’s appearance Thursday morning in Manhattan federal court. Stewart will also be in court on Nov. 18, when oral arguments on pretrial motions will take place. The mogul, who is charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, and making false statements, has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

The six-month wait for the trial will give Stewart more time to mount her PR campaign against the charges, which so far has centered on a website, ”I want you to know that I am innocent — and that I will fight to clear my name,” Stewart wrote in an open letter to fans on the site. The site also includes what it says are letters from Stewart’s fans. ”None of us is perfect,” Bonnie Lichtenstein Brueckner, of La Jolla, Calif., wrote. ”Many people rationalize [sic] about you, and in doing so, place you in a negative position because of jealousy.” Someone get Bonnie a free set of sheets.