Martha Stewart finds the media's delight in her current plight ''puzzling'' and ''confusing.'' So she told the New Yorker magazine in her first interview since the ImClone insider-trading scandal broke nearly eight months ago. While Stewart has denied any wrongdoing and has yet to be charged with a crime, she told the magazine she has lost about $400 million in the last eight months, due to the drop in price in her own company's (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) stock, as well as legal fees. But what really upsets her is the way she's been portrayed in the press.
She noted that Newsweek magazine posted her picture along with a caption that read, '''If she had been nicer to people on the way up, they'd be nicer to her on the way down.' I've never not been nice to anybody.'' She also complained that the New York Post has used snapshots of her that are ''the ugliest pictures. And I'm a pretty photogenic person, I mean, and they manage to find the doozies.'' She did not, however, begrudge the late-night comics for making fun of her. ''My buddies -- Dave, Jay, Conan. I miss the fun,'' she said. ''They have a job to do, they can comment on anybody in a playful way, and I don't think it's at all damaging. In other parts of the press, more damaging. In terms of photography, even more damaging.''
Stewart did not discuss the facts of her case with interviewer Jeffrey Toobin, but she did treat him to a multi-course Chinese lunch at her home. Of her silver chopsticks, she said, ''You know, in China they say, 'The thinner the chopsticks, the higher the social status.' Of course, I got the thinnest I could find.'' She added, ''That's why people hate me.''