A new docu-series chronicles the domestic goddess's time behind bars.
Back in 2004, Martha Stewart famously spent five months in federal prison after she was found guilty on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Now, in CNN's new documentary The Many Lives of Martha Stewart, the famed lifestyle guru's inmates opened up about what she was like during her time behind bars.
Meg Phipps, who was incarcerated at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia with Stewart, shared a story of when Stewart delivered a dessert to her.
“How we communicated was by note, a handwritten note, and someone from that cottage or dorm, you had to wait for someone to take that in for you,” Phipps explained. She once got a note from Stewart, who suggested that they meet. She noted that somehow, some way, Stewart got some very specific ingredients that weren't available in the commissary. “She also sent that note with a baked apple, which meant she had already tackled the idea of cooking in your dorm or cottage by using the microwave and what resources that you could find — because the baked apple had caramel on it and probably some cinnamon."
Phipps added that she was sure there was some clandestine smuggling happening to get Martha what she needed.
“I suspect some of this may have come from the cafeteria, which we’re not supposed to do," Phipps added.
Susan Spry, another inmate, noted that going underground was the only way Stewart could have made some of the things that she did.
“Everyone smuggles food out of kitchens. I mean what else are you going to make? Unless it’s smuggled food,” Spry said, adding that she smuggled some herself under her arms.
Spry also shared that Stewart worked inside the administration building during her time in prison. Not surprisingly, she was great at her job.
“She kept it clean. She cleaned toilets. She cleaned the warden’s toilet,” Spry said.
Elizabeth Walker, a former supervisory chaplain, confirmed, saying, "She was very good. She did her job."
“[Stewart] read something she wrote about what peace is … and her hands are shaking, and I thought, ‘This is a woman who has had her own television shows.' She wanted to do a good job for the women she was with … that impressed me,” Walker finished.
Phipps also shared that they had a potluck for Stewart on her last day of prison — and that Stewart provided the dessert for the occasion.
“We brought different dishes, but Martha did bring a caramel flan, and I don’t know how she made it,” Phipps said. “It’s a big part about what made prison tolerable is that fellowship of cooking and celebrating someone going home. She thanked people for making her time there go as well as it did.”
The final episode of The Many Lives of Martha Stewart airs this Sunday on CNN.
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