Guess who isn't getting invited to Martha Stewart's pumpkin carving party this year?
Peter E. Bacanovic, his gall rising, could not believe it. But there it was in print. “I honestly don’t remember exactly what I was prosecuted for,” Martha Stewart is quoted as saying in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
“It’s a very striking comment to make, I mean she is on probation,” Mr. Bacanovic said of his former friend, client and fellow convict, as he sat down for lunch last month at Sette Mezzo, just around the corner from his Manhattan town house.
“I was indicted not because I was the biggest criminal on the block or the biggest insider trader in history,” he said. “I was indicted simply to bring a case against my celebrity co-defendant. I was a device.”
His grievances [for Stewart] are many. They range from not being among those who received a Christmas card from her while she was in prison, to her legal strategy. He claims that she turned down offers from the government to settle charges, which would have resulted in no trial and perhaps no prison term. He also blames her for the $75,000 fine he recently paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle insider trading charges.
Mr. Bacanovic’s feelings for his former client are complicated: there is resentment fueled by what he sees as the unfairness of his lot relative to hers, yet one that is tempered by warm memories of their shared love for chow chows and of Christmases spent together in the kitchen of Ms. Stewart’s home in Westport, Conn.