Martha Stewart was unbothered after ‘old friend’ Katie Couric said she didn’t have a sense of humor before prison

Martha Stewart and Katie Couric in 2019.
Martha Stewart and Katie Couric attend Spring Benefit at The High Line in 2019. Theo Wargo/Getty Images
  • On Thursday Martha Stewart addressed comments Katie Couric made about her on “Watch What Happens Live.”
  • In her new memoir “Going There,” Couric said Stewart developed a sense of humor after leaving prison.
  • Stewart told host Andy Cohen that “old friends can say anything they damn well please.”  

Martha Stewart said she wasn’t fazed by comments Katie Couric made in her October 2021 memoir “Going There,” where Couric claimed the businesswoman didn’t develop a sense of humor until she was released from prison.

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In response to a fan’s question about the remarks during Thursday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live,” Stewart said, “Katie is an old friend and old friends can say anything they damn well please.”

“And I still wrote to her and said, ‘What the hell?'” Stewart continued.

Stewart 80, was sentenced to five months in prison in 2004 for charges related to conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false statements concerning insider trading. She was released in March 2005.

“Do you think you did not have a sense of humor before going away?” host Andy Cohen asked Stewart.

“I’ve always had a sense of humor, and I will continue to have a sense of humor,” she responded.

“I know that, but do you think other people didn’t realize that?” Cohen asked the lifestyle mogul.

“No, I think people didn’t know me well enough to know if I had one or not. But I’ve always had a great sense of humor,” Stewart said. 

When Cohen asked if she was mad at Couric, Stewart added, “Not worth it. Life is too short.” 

As Insider previously reported after the release of Couric’s memoir, the TV journalist presented the Matrix Award to Stewart in 1996 and decided to recite a poem using anecdotes describing all the ways in which the two were different. 

“I didn’t know her that well, so I wouldn’t be able to tell moving personal anecdotes,” Couric wrote. “Frankly, I’d been a little apprehensive about the whole thing, so I’d come up with an idea: Martha was everything I wasn’t — why not play off that?” 

The poem was a hit with the audience but Stewart was less amused, Couric stated.

Couric said Stewart turned to her after the presentation and asked, “Would you know what pancetta was if it weren’t for me? Would you know what bruschetta was if it weren’t for me?”

“By way of thanks, she had a very small bouquet delivered, and her office sent over a cookie-decorating kit,” Couric recalled. “It took a few years and some prison time for Martha to develop a sense of humor.”