The motion papers, filed in Manhattan federal court, said that the juror’s comments to reporters “are glaring proof” of the juror’s state of mind and that Stewart had been cheated of her right to an impartial jury and a fair trial.
The papers concern Chappell Hartridge, who was the first juror to speak to reporters immediately after the jury convicted Stewart of lying to investigators over a suspicious stock sale.
Hartridge, who lives in the Bronx, could not be reached for comment.
“Hartridge’s characterization of the verdict immediately after he was released from jury duty as ‘maybe … a victory for the little guys who lose money in the market because of these kinds of transactions’ evidences a clear class bias on his part,” the papers said.
Stewart’s lawyers said the fact that Hartridge sought compensation from the media for post-trial interviews shows he wanted to make money from his jury experience.
They described Hartridge as “a man with a checkered history, who deliberately concealed his prior experiences with the legal system so that he could empower the ‘little man’ and profit from the process.”
Stewart, who built a media empire on tips for gracious living, was found guilty on March 5 of conspiring with her former Merrill Lynch stock broker to hide the reason behind her suspicious sale of shares in the biotech company ImClone Systems Inc. on Dec. 27, 2001.
She was convicted of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17 and legal experts believe she will face prison time.