Freedom's Just Another Word for Looking Really Good
March 4, 2005

It was a happy homecoming for America's favorite homemaker. At 1:12 a.m. Friday, Martha Stewart took off on the flight of her life, hoping to leave her most turbulent times behind her.

And it certainly looked like prison had been good to her. The domestic diva emerged late Thursday night, looking more glamorous than ever, casually dressed in a plush cashmere poncho worth up to $400. She appeared perfectly coiffed with a little lighter shade of blonde. Sources tell us Martha's hairdresser paid her a visit for a latenight makeover, so she could be ready to face photograpers.

Martha's midnight run from prison was a meticulously planned media event. Stewart herself provided a flatbed truck for photographers to get the money shot: a visibly thinner Martha smiling, waving, even kissing her driver as she and her daughter boarded a chartered jet.

It was goodbye Camp Cupcake, hello Felony Farm! That's what Martha's neighbors are calling the sprawling Westchester estate where the domestic diva is now under house arrest. By three a.m., Martha was home. Cameras caught her walking through her kitchen -- a far cry from the prison cafeteria where earlier this week Martha's fellow inmates threw a microwaved potluck dinner for her.

Wearing a beige barn jacket and matching scarf, Martha emerged from her newly renovated home this morning to greet her horses. She strolled her property, perhaps looking for early-blooming crocuses and forsythia on her snow-covered grounds.

In a statement on her Web site the joyful Stewart said, "Certainly, there is no place like home."

Friday morning, Martha's new TV business partners celebrated her release. Donald Trump and Mark Burnett will be among the first friends to visit her at home.

Last night at the Broadway premiere of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" former Texas governor Ann Richards revealed to us she had recently visited Martha in prison, finding her "terrific." And Joan Rivers joked to us that perhaps prison life "is a good thing."

"If I could come out $500 million richer, 20 pounds lighter, I would steal a car tonight," Joan quipped.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Kevin Costner was among the stars offering Martha celebrity support at the premiere of "The Upside of Anger." "I hope she dances long and hard and enjoys life," Costner said. "Martha's great, she deserves another chance."

Over the next five months, do not expect to see a lot more of Martha strolling her property. Aside from going to work and running a few errands, Martha will be confined to her house, wearing an electronic ankle bracelet monitor that tracks her every move.

Secret Homecoming
Inside the Freedom Frenzy
Jail Birds
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