NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Martha Stewart has not ruled out the possibility of serving her sentence soon rather than waiting for an appeals court to decide whether she deserves a second chance to clear her name.
|Martha Stewart on CNN's Larry King Live
On CNN's "Larry King Live" on Monday night, Stewart told King that she is considering putting the 2 1/2 year ordeal behind her. "I have not made up my mind one way or another," said Stewart.
Stewart, 62, was sentenced on Friday to 10 months -- half spent in prison and half spent wearing an electronic bracelet at her Bedford, New York estate -- for hindering a government insider trading probe in her late 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock.
Stewart can stay out of jail while appealing the verdict, a process that could take as long as two years. She can also choose to drop her appeal.
"There's a conundrum," said Stewart. "My company needs me. I would like to get back to work. I would like this to be over."
In public appearances after her sentencing, both on the courthouse steps immediately after her Friday's hearing and later that day on ABC's "20/20," Stewart appeared defiant, almost angry about the criminal indictment that led to her conviction in March. At one point she proclaimed to have been "choked and almost suffocated to death" throughout the entire process.
Monday night, however, a noticeably subdued Stewart traded in Friday's somber pant suit for a light beige outfit. And while she appeared nervous at first, with her hands clasped, she soon relaxed under King's questioning and smiled through much of the interview. The segment included questions from several callers, all of whom expressed support for Stewart.
In other highlights from the wide-ranging interview:
On the ImClone stock sale She declined to say whether, if she had it to do all over again, she would have handled the sale of her ImClone stock differently. Still, she said, "You wake up pretty much every night at about 2 [a.m.]" and think "'oh my gosh, what if? what if? what if?' That's pretty terrible for a 2.5 year process like this."
On her company As to her future role at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Stewart made it clear she plans to play an intimate role.
Prison rules, she said, bar her from discussing business while behind bars but she said no similar restrictions apply while she's in home detention. Whether she can one day return to the helm of Martha Stewart Living "has yet to be determined legally," she said.
On her possible book Stewart confirmed news reports that she plans to write a book for people who find themselves up against the law. "For anybody who's had to go through this process, there should be some guidelines." Among the potential topics, "what lawyer to choose, how to behave, how to attend an interview."
On her reputation for hubris "I have sometimes, probably, forgotten -- and I know I have -- to pat the back of someone or said 'thank you' enough times or maybe even once sometimes," Stewart said. "I wish I were perfect. I wish I were just the nicest, nicest, nicest person on Earth. But I am a business person....If I were a man no one would ever say that I was arrogant."
On the Mandela remark She also sought to clarify comments she made during the "20/20" interview where she invoked the name of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid warrior who spent 27 years in prison and then went on to become president of South Africa.
Contrary to press reports, Stewart said, she did not liken her situation to that of Mandela's. "I am not comparing myself to Nelson Mandela," said Stewart. "I am not a Nobel prize winner."
Finally, Stewart criticized the often "repetitious" media coverage of her plight.
|Recent Martha news
Now, as she seeks to use the press to help clear her name, it's not known yet whether her post-sentencing media road show has won or lost her hearts. But the clear winner so far: the media.
ABC's "20/20" was the top-rated show Friday, with 8 million viewers tuned in. By way of comparison, former Clinton paramour Monica Lewinsky drew 48.5 million viewers during her 1999 Walters interview.
ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co. (DIS: Research, Estimates), is the No. 4 television network, ranked by viewership during the key prime time evening hours.