Martha Stewart Takes the Stand in Macy’s Lawsuit
(NEW YORK) -- Even in court Martha Stewart never fails to make an impression.
Stewart, who referred to herself as an “uber-designer,” testified Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan wearing a short, light brown skirt and matching vest with a cream colored blouse underneath. At one point she declared “I love Macy’s,” the company that is suing her for breach of contract.
Macy’s insists it has exclusive rights to sell Stewart’s line of home products. It accused her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, of violating that agreement when it inked a deal with JCPenny, though Stewart seemed to see no conflict.
“It just boggles my mind that we’re here,” Stewart testified.
Asked whether Stewart’s company suggested to Macy's that it could or would sell goods in any competing department store she answered, "There were categories that were non-exclusive to Macy's that we could sell in other department stores.”
Stewart said she did business with lots of other stores.
“I don't know if you can consider Petsmart a department store for pets,” she said. “Michaels is kind of a department store for crafts.”
Ted Grossman, an attorney representing Macy’s, repeatedly tried to tar Stewart as cut-throat businesswoman willing let others assume risk as she raked in profits, an accusation Stewart rebuked.
"We take tremendous risk,” she said. “Our first obligation is to our consumer."
The lawsuit calls into question the legality of hundreds of items Stewart’s company agreed to sell inside JCPenny stores.
"We thought, and I hope rightly so, that we were allowed to do such a thing," Stewart said, attempting to condense a multi-million dollar lawsuit into a simple misunderstanding.
Stewart’s turn on the witness stand brought her back to a New York court eight years after she was convicted of lying to authorities about her sale of ImClone stock.
When asked whether she was comfortable on the witness stand Stewart replied, “As comfortable as can be.”
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