Martha Stewart is a lifestyle guru, entrepreneur and television personality who has an empire that includes television shows, magazines, cookbooks, party planning books and home products, among others. She’s also a national treasure who counts rapper and marijuana enthusiast Snoop Dogg among her closest friends (more on that later). Celebrity Net Worth reports that the 80-year-old has a net worth of $400 million.
Today, Martha may be known for her delicious dishes, potent cocktails, and creative crafting projects, but back when she started her career, she was a model and then she became a stockbroker. According to Insider, Martha worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street in her mid-20s. It wasn’t until she and her husband bought a rambling property in Westport, Connecticut that Martha started developing her recipes which turned into a catering company which led to a book deal… and the rest is history.
Martha has a new competition show with Tamera Mowrey-Housey called “Table Wars” debuting on HGTV on November 12, 2021. The seven-episode series will have competitors face off in a competition to “design and install the ultimate themed dining environment that features stunning tablescapes, centerpieces, lighting and displays to wow the judges and avoid elimination,” according to the show’s press release from HGTV’s parent company Discovery.
Is there anything Martha Stewart can’t do?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Martha Stewart Has a Property Empire Worth at Least $100 Million
Martha Stewart owns a number of properties in New York and Connecticut. The one most associated with her is the Turkey Hill estate in Westport, Connecticut that she lived in from 1971 to 2007, MarthaStewart.com revealed. She and her ex-husband Andrew bought the property and she retained it in their divorce. Martha and Andrew bought it for $46,750, she revealed in a blog post on MarthaStewart.com. Adjusted for inflation, that is equal to $316,641 today. Over the years, Martha and her husband expanded the property by buying adjacent lots. Martha sold the Turkey Hill property in 2007 for $6.7 million, according to the Wall Street Journal (via Berg Properties).
Martha wrote about Turkey Hill on her website, saying, “Turkey Hill was a dream place for my family and me for many years. It taught us, it nurtured us, it fed us, and it occupied us in so many wonderful and instructive ways. I would not be who I am today without the vast knowledge I gained there, on that small bit of paradise.”
Martha’s main residence is located in Bedford, New York. She bought the 153-acre estate in 2000 for $15.2 million. It is a working farm that was built in 1784. Martha keeps horses, chickens and other animals on her land. The property has several structures including the main, “Winter House” that Martha lives in and two guest houses, per Wide Open Country.
In September 2021, Martha sold her long-time home at 58 Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton, New York for $16.5 million, Dirt reported. That was double what she was asking for it. She purchased it in 1991 for $1.7 million, according to Realtor.
Martha also owns a 67-acre estate called Skylands in Seal Harbor, Maine that she bought in 1997, per Architectural Digest. The estate was built in 1952 for Edsel Ford of the automotive family. She added onto the property in 2015 by buying the 7-acre lot next door for $5.8 million, according to MDIslander.com.
Martha also owned a penthouse on Perry Street in Manhattan’s West Village. She sold the Richard Meier-designed unit for $6.65 million in 2004, just before she went to jail, the New York Post reported.
2. Martha Stewart Has a Television and Publishing Empire
When Martha and her then-husband Andrew bought the Turkey Hill property in Westport, Connecticut in 1971, Martha’s focus changed. She started restoring the property and cooking elaborate meals. That turned into her own catering company that catered events with up to 1,500 people. Within 10 years, Martha’s catering company was a $1 million business, Entrepreneur reported.
Then, in 1980, she was attending an event her company catered when the president of a publishing company approached her with the idea to write a book. That led to the massive bestseller, “Entertaining,” which sold more than 625,000 copies. More books followed, including “Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook Menus,” “Martha Stewart’s Chrismas,” “Martha Stewart Weddings,” and so on.
In 1991, she launched her magazine “Martha Stewart Living.” By 1997, the magazine had a circulation of 2.3 million, according to Entrepreneur. Martha also began appearing on television shows in the 1990s which led to her shows, “Martha Stewart Living,” “Everyday Food,” “Martha,” and more, per IMDb.
In 1999, Martha took her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia public. On the opening day of trading, stocks surged to $38 making Martha not only a billionaire, but the very first self-made female billionaire in the United States, CNN Money revealed. She later lost that billionaire status when share prices declined.
3. Martha Stewart Went to Jail for Insider Trading
On June 4, 2003, the world was shocked when Martha Stewart, who basically conveyed goodness and love and family through her lifestyle empire, was charged with insider trading by the Security and Exchange Commission. She received a tip from her stockbroker about an FDA ruling that was not going to be in favor of a pharmaceutical stock she owned and sold that stock before it declined.
The SEC’s press release said, The SEC “…today filed securities fraud charges against Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic. The complaint…alleges that Stewart committed illegal insider trading when she sold stock in a biopharmaceutical company, ImClone Systems, Inc., on Dec. 27, 2001, after receiving an unlawful tip from Bacanovic… The Commission further alleges that Stewart and Bacanovic subsequently created an alibi for Stewart’s ImClone sales and concealed important facts during SEC and criminal investigations into her trades.”
Martha was indicted by the U.S. government on nine counts including securities fraud and obstruction of justice. She stepped down as the CEO of her company. Her six-week trial began in January 2004 and she was found guilty on all counts, including felony charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to federal investigators. Martha was sentenced to five months in federal prison and two years of supervised release, the first five months of which had Martha wearing an ankle bracelet to monitor her movements, CNN Money reported. She also paid a $30,000 fine.
4. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg Are Basically BFFs
In 2016, a gift was given to the world. “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” premiered on VH1. This bizarre combination of personalities turned out to be truly amazing. Pairing the straight-laced lifestyle guru with the rapper and marijuana enthusiast was unexpected and truly delightful. They had a chemistry on the show that was surprising. But, it turns out, the pairing wasn’t all that unexpected after all. The two had met years earlier. In 2008, Snoop appeared on Marth’s eponymously named show to help her make mashed potatoes. Their chemistry was instantaneous.
Martha wrote a blog post about her experience with Snoop Dogg (via People), “He and his posse add ‘izzles’ onto the ends of words.” It’s kind of a code, or a way of communicating so that others won’t know what they’re talking about. Example: fo’ shizzle is how they say, for sure.”
In 2019, Snoop trolled Tekashi 6ix9ine after he snitched on his former gang by posting a photo to his Instagram that said, “As we watch Tekashi 69 (or whatever his name is) snitch on EVERYBODY, I invite you all to remember Martha Stewart snitched on NOT ONE soul during her trial,” Snoop wrote. “Baby girl kept it 10 toes down and ate that prison sentence by herself, like the true baddie she is.” He captioned that photo, “That’s my. M. F. Home girl ????? solid as a rocc.”
5. Martha Stewart Has Her Own Line of CBD Edibles
Snoop Dogg has rubbed off on Martha Stewart in what shouldn’t be an unexpected way, but, let’s face it, you just don’t expect an 80-year-old to get into cannabis products. Perhaps she experienced so many contact highs from hanging out with Snoop that she began to enjoy the effects of marijuana products.
Martha Stewart’s line of CBD gummies does not contain THC, so they aren’t beholden to federal and state laws governing marijuana. The packaging says a dose is one per day, Self reported. However, in an interview with The New York Times, Martha admitted, “I pop 20 of them and just feel OK, but some of my friends do two and feel high, I don’t know why. It’s not high like a marijuana high. It’s a CBD high, like, relaxed.” The interview went on to reveal that Martha ate four gummies during the hour-long interview.
Martha also revealed it was a contact high from Snoop that got her into the palliative effects of CBD. During the Comedy Central “Roast of Justin Bieber” in 2015, she and Snoop sat next to each other for seven hours. She recalled, “Snoop must have smoked 10 giant fat blunts, and I inhaled all that smoke. I felt really good.” She added, “I had to fly that night, my family was in Saint Barths for Christmas vacation. I don’t remember going on the plane. I don’t remember doing anything. I didn’t remember my performance on the roast, but it was very successful.”