The Case of Martha Stewart: On Improper Actions Essay


One of the most intriguing cases, the one of the famous Martha Stewart, offers quite a lot of food for thoughts. With help of the mystery that has been created about the case, the popularity of the celebrity has increased immensely. However, it cannot be denied that Martha suffered greatly, trying to prove her innocence – unfortunately, in vain.

Although the guilt of the celebrity has already been proven, it must be admitted that the case, quite complicated and entangled, requires certain clarifications. It seems that there are certain issues that might bring the entire case into conflict and prove that the fault of the convicted was far not that great as the court has emphasized.

One of the women known for her TV shows with her recipes for a comfortable life in a cozy house, the superstar of our times is now considered guilty of selling the Erbitux medicine, which resulted in ImClone Systems company suffering certain losses in their trade. Quite a precedent to be discussed in the court, this story could have led to rather sad consequences for the film star.

However, as it has turned out, it was not the very issue of selling the medicine in the improper way that turned Martha into the accused – but the improper behavior! This is quite a reason to feel concerned, it seems. On the one hand, there is no doubt that the high standards for the behavior of the world celebrities must be somewhat coordinated, and some standards must be set, yet the accusations themselves seem ridiculous.

The Struggle Begins: the Sufferings of the Celebrity

Despite all the emotions concerning the social status of the accused and her attempts to plead not guilty, there is no doubt that the woman is to be charged for the negligence of laws. No matter how hard this might result in her career, the case was supposed to be carried on until it had resulted in either conviction or the exoneration.

Such are the postulates of the law – it must be kept in mind that all people are equal when it comes to facing the justice, and the social status does not matter in this case. Thus, it is absolutely clear that Martha Stewart, “charged only with lying after the fact about the stock sale” (Turrow 64), should have received the penalty, which she actually did. Therefore, the sentence passed by the jury can be considered well-grounded and completely just.

However, certain details must be kept in mind. On the one hand, Martha’s guilt has been proved, which leaves no place for doubts. Yet the way in which the woman was treated makes one doubt if the basis for the conviction was just enough. Logically, Stewart should have been penalized for the unjust behavior and for selling the medicine that she had no right to. Yet at present all the details of the case point at the fact that the attitude towards the accused was shaped because of the way she treated Douglas Faneuil.

Into the Details: The Charges

According to the official charge, the woman was accused of selling the shares of the ImClone Systems company, which led to its considerable drop of rates. Therefore, the celebrity was accused of the unfair manipulations and charged. However, that was the official version of what had happened.

According to the comments that the public made after the judgment was passed, the decisions of the jury were based on the celebrity’s behavior – the woman treated Douglas Faneuil in rather rude way and behaved in the manner that was considered as an “inappropriate” for a woman. Therefore, it can be considered that the sentence passed was based mainly on the personal impressions of the jury.

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That Is Unfair, or On Personal Opinions

Based on the testimonies of Larry Stewart, the court decision seems rather unfair. Although the official sentence was based completely on the facts and the actual pieces of evidence, the following question can be raised: once the celebrity behaved in a “proper”, “female” way, would the decision of the jury the same? “Are we punishing Martha Stewart for refusing to fulfill expectations?”, Lisa Nuss (4) asks.

It is quite doubtful that, once Martha displayed the emotions that one is “supposed” to in the given situation, and behaved in the most composed and modest way, the sentence passed by the court would have been the same. It is necessary to emphasize that the decision of the court seems to be based on personal opinion rather than on the evidence that was displayed.


Therefore, it must be considered that the case of Martha Stewart is much more complicated than it used to seem. Unless the case had been so emotionally rich and filled with personal likes and antipathies, it would have been able to find out whether Martha had been convicted justly or not. Yet with the controversy of the present situation, it is impossible to claim for sure whether the sentence passed to Martha was well-grounded.

Thus, it seems that the appellation could be used in this case. Only reconsidering the details of the case, one can pass the right verdict, with impartial judge and the jury that would not base their convictions on the gossips and the prejudices concerning women’s behavior.