Although we're pretty sure Martha Stewart didn't duel a violent evangelical meth addict in the prison yard in the dead of winter, the lifestyle tycoon revealed she's let "Orange is the New Black" collect internet dust in her Netflix queue because nothing can measure up to experiencing prison firsthand.
Speaking with Chelsea Handler on a recent episode of the comic's new talk show, "Chelsea," Stewart addressed comparisons to her own orange-jumpsuit experience and the depiction of prison on television.
“When you live through something like 'Orange Is the New Black,' the real characters are better,” she told Handler. "It’s not as good as the real thing.”
Beginning in October 2004, Stewart famously spent five months in an Alderson, West Virginia, federal prison for obstructing justice and making false statements during an SEC investigation into insider trading. After her release, she served five additional months on house arrest.
While behind bars, however, Stewart had access to television, and recalled that one particular channel was a favorite among the inmates.
“In prison, it was BET television at all times. I had to get up really early to watch the news,” she said. "There’s only one TV available and you have to sit in hard chairs and look up like this at the TV. So if I wanted to watch the stock market and stuff like that, I had to get up really early and watch it by myself.”
Pause for the image of Martha Stewart watching TV by herself at the crack of dawn in prison. Let's continue.
Even though Stewart has no interest in "OITNB," the Netflix series is very much aware of her story. In Season 3, Judy King, a character modeled after Stewart, was introduced to the Litchfield gang after being charged with tax evasion.
King appeared sporadically throughout last season, but is expected to play a larger role when Season 4 debuts in June. (Netflix didn't spend all that time perfecting the Martha 'do for nothing.)