Martha Stewart must think a good fight is a good thing. Despite serving five months in prison and stepping down as chairwoman of her company, the domestic diva has decided to wage war with the Securities and Exchange Commission over civil insider trading charges.

Martha Stewart must think a good fight is a good thing. Despite serving five months in prison and stepping down as chairwoman of her company, the domestic diva has decided to wage war with the Securities and Exchange Commission over civil insider trading charges. 2

Stewart’s attorneys told the SEC yesterday they’re not interested in a settlement that would put an end to an embarrassing chapter in the 63-year-old Jersey girl’s rags-to-radicchio story.

At stake are hefty fines and a lifetime ban from the corporate suite at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Stewart was convicted of federal obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges in 2004 involving the sale of stock in a biopharmaceutical company. She served five

months in a West Virginia prison and five months’ house arrest at her Bedford, Westchester County, estate.

The criminal convictions don’t bar her from running her publicly held company, but losing the SEC case could. Stewart remains Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s editorial honcho.

“We are confident that nothing about this civil litigation will prevent Martha from continuing to do all the wonderfully creative things she currently does for the company and its customers,” said Elizabeth Estroff, a spokeswoman for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

But the company was careful to note: “MSLO is not a party to this case. Ms. Stewart is our founder. She is not currently an officer or director of MSLO.”

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