Martha Stewart appeared in a New York courtroom today to testify in a trial regarding the exclusivity of her home goods brands and the retailer Macy’s objecting to her desire to bring the brand to other retail store brands.
It what seemed like unusually emotional testimony, Martha Stewart and her decision were roundly pilloried by seemingly heartbroken Macy’s execs last week as they tearfully told the tale of heated phone calls and exclusivity ultimatums culminating in the trial at hand.
To hear Macy’s tell it, Martha Stewart seduced the department store with grand promises of a long and happy partnership, only to dally with the less exclusive JC Penney behind their backs.
But Stewart tells a different story, as with most tales of unrequited love, explaining that she never meant to pledge loyalty to one store only.
Martha explains that early on she realized her retail promiscuity came at the price of being viewed as indiscreet, telling a tale of scarlet lettering from far earlier on in her career as a professional domestic doyenne.
In the course of a four-hour court testimony session today, Martha Stewart countered:
“I paid the price for going mass very early on: the garden club of Greenwich canceled my speaking engagement … hat was a very difficult deal for me to sign — I lived in a pretty house with a pretty garden; I wrote about upscale things.”
Okay, Macy’s? You don’t know Martha Stewart’s life. She also said:
“[Customers at KMart, the first mass retailer to carry her branded wares] were buying polyester; they were buying designs that were really, really sad … [Naysayers said at the time] ‘oh, poor people don’t do their laundry as often as rich people, so they don’t want light colors.”
Stewart also addressed both the current fallout as well as the difficulty she’s had in retaining her brand integrity following her imprisonment for insider trading. She explained:
“Why do you think the headlines are pitting me against J. C. Penney’s and Macy’s? … They’re fighting over something, and it’s not just home. It is our amazing product … I had a terrible time personally [after going to prison], and that could have taken down the company; it did not. It could’ve taken down the brand; it did not … But I must tell you that rebuilding is a lot harder than building.”
However, Martha Stewart was not all serious as she was grilled both by lawyers for Macy’s as well as her own representation — when asked how she “does her time” regarding her daily schedule, M. Diddy quipped she’d “done [her] time.”