Two houses divided! Martha Stewart has been dropped by beleaguered shopping giant J.C. Penney nearly a year and a half after both she and the company were hit with lawsuits by J.C. Penney’s primary competitor, Macy’s, the New York Post reports.
In the suit, Macy’s claims that Stewart and J.C. Penney violated a 2006 agreement stipulating that Macy’s would have exclusive rights to her Martha Stewart cookware, bedding and bath products.
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Rather than continuing the legal battle, the Post reports, J.C. Penney’s Chief Executive Mike Ullman has opted to drop Stewart from their 2011 deal altogether. According to the paper, part of the reason for the split is poor sales numbers.
And to gain even more distance from the lawsuit, J.C. Penney is reportedly also discontinuing production of all Stewart-branded goods — regardless of whether they fall into the categories covered in the legal filings.
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Reps for both Stewart’s Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and Penney have so far remained silent on the issue.
Earlier this year, Stewart, 72, reportedly delivered a blow to her rivals, including Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell, after including a clause in her deal with J.C. Penney that essentially banned them from working with the company.
“Martha is knifing some of the people that have offered her a lot of support over her career,” a source told the Post’s Page Six in March. “Rosie O’Donnell actually went to her trial to show public support, and has appeared several times on her talk show. Oprah Winfrey famously had Martha on her syndicated talk show post-jail, as a way of support, allowing Martha to promote her magazine and her products.”
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In June, when Stewart’s fellow media mogul Paula Deen was blasted in the media for her use of the N-word, the homemaking mogul expressed her sympathy.
“I feel sorry for Paula Deen,” she said at the time. “She’s a public figure. And I know you have to be extremely careful being a public figure. …I just feel you have to really watch yourself especially in this day and age, with cameras all over you and Google.”