Martha Stewart reached an agreement today with securities regulators to settle civil insider-trading charges, concluding a five-year legal drama that put a dent in her ubiquitous brand. 2

Martha Stewart reached an agreement today with securities regulators to settle civil insider-trading charges, concluding a five-year legal drama that put a dent in her ubiquitous brand.

Peter E. Bacanovic, Ms. Stewart’s former broker at Merrill Lynch, also settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his role in the case.

The deal is the fruit of months of intense negotiations between Ms. Stewart’s lawyers and the commission’s. It requires Ms. Stewart to pay $195,000 in fines and penalties; more significantly, it bars her from serving as a director or chief executive officer of any public company for a five-year period.

Since her release from prison a little more than a year ago, Ms. Stewart has resumed an active role at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the multimedia company that she founded. Her current title is founding editorial director, but she is not a member of the board, nor does she have any formal executive title at the company.

As part of the agreement, she would have to wait five years before being able to serve on the board of her company, or assume any senior executive position, such as chief executive. Still, the settlement does not significantly curtail her current and extensive corporate responsibilities.

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