Martha Stewart arrived at the courthouse early, fending off the rain with a brown, polka-dot umbrella. Beneath the raincoat she wore a gray glen plaid jacket and a brown blouse, yellow pants and mules. She asked the court artist to picture her without pock marks and with perfect skin.

The trial of Martha Stewart, who faces charges that she lied to federal investigators probing a controversial stock sale, will start Jan. 12. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled Thursday that despite Stewart’s right to a speedy trial, court proceedings against her would begin then.

Cedarbaum relaxed the normal timetable in the case at the request of Richard Strassberg, attorney for Stewart’s co-defendant Peter Bacanovic. Strassberg explained that he would need until Sept. 30 to review the government’s evidence against his client.

Stewart’s attorney, Robert Morvillo, said he would have liked to start the trial in November, but ultimately sided with Strassberg. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Schachter did not object to starting in January.

It was Stewart’s only public statement in the 45 minutes she spent in the courtroom. For the most part, she took notes and conferred quietly with her attorney. After the judge dismissed the court, Stewart briefly greeted her former stockbroker and co-defendant Bacanovic, who had arrived late.

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