NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Martha Stewart said Wednesday she will request to start serving her prison sentence as soon as possible following her conviction on obstruction of justice charges.
The following is the text of her statement that appeared on the Web site of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
My lawyers have submitted a letter to Judge Cedarbaum asking her to lift the stay of my sentence and begin the prison designation process. This will enable me to start serving my five-month jail sentence, rather than waiting for the conclusion of my appeal which won't take place until sometime in 2005.
Although my lawyers remain very confident in the strength of my appeal -- and will continue to pursue it on my behalf -- I have decided to serve my sentence now because I want to put this nightmare behind me and get on with my life as soon as possible. I understand the importance of closure to my family, friends and supporters, as well as to the employees, advertisers and business partners of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia -- so we can all move forward.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly how long it will take the Bureau of Prisons to arrange for me to begin serving my sentence, or where I will serve it. I hope there will be room at the minimum security prison in Danbury, Connecticut, which is nearest to my home and close enough so my 90-year-old mother will be able to visit me - but I may end up elsewhere.
I also hope it will be possible to begin serving my sentence in the next few weeks - so I will be out of prison as early next March as possible (sic).
As you can imagine, going to jail voluntarily is an extremely difficult decision, especially when you believe you have a very strong appeal and may never have to serve the sentence. But I know I am doing the right thing for me and for my company. If events unfold as I have been led to believe, I will have this ordeal behind me and be back to work before spring planting season.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is a unique company. I know it will be in good hands while I am gone -- and I firmly believe its best days are still ahead of it. I have complete faith in our Board of Directors, management team and our hundreds of talented employees, who will continue to do the wonderful work that only they know how to do, as they continue to enrich people's lives by providing the most unique "how-to" content and products for the home.
I would like to thank all of the people who have supported me and stood by my company during this awful and uncertain time. I cannot express enough gratitude to my family, friends, co-workers and the company's strategic partners, along with all of the countless people who have written me encouraging notes and emails (including an incredible 185,000 to this website), and the millions of supporters of our brand who continue to purchase our products, watch our shows, and read our magazines (sic). Your good wishes and support mean the world to me - and I am eternally grateful for all of it.
Thank you again for visiting. In spite of the difficulties that still lie ahead, I will continue to do my best to keep you informed of my activities and my plans for the future.