Martha Stewart Refers to Her Quarantine House Guests as ‘Detainees’ 


Martha Stewart revealed the unique name she has been using to refer to the houseguests she’s quarantining with amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been calling my housemates ‘detainees,’” Stewart, 78, said on Thursday, April 23, during a discussion of Michael Rips’ new book, The Golden Flea: A Story of Obsession and Collecting, via Pennsylvania’s Midtown Scholar Bookstore’s Crowdcast livestream. “I’ve gotten so much criticism for calling them detainees, but I have to feed them dinner.”

The Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party cohost continued, “Tonight is the 40th dinner! And I made a special dinner tonight with them to celebrate 40 days of confinement.”

Earlier this month, Stewart spoke about the people quarantining with her while sharing her martini-making tips during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “We have three detainees, I call them,” she told host Seth Meyers, who replied, “Oh, detainees. Well, that’s very charming.”

“It’s against their will but if they want their jobs, and they want to not get sick, they’re staying here … We make a nice dinner every night,” Stewart explained. “We have a cocktail. We play cards after dinner. It’s horrible.”

Stewart is no stranger to being detained. In 2004, she was sentenced to five months in prison for her involvement in an insider trading scandal.

During a 2017 interview for “The Katie Couric” podcast, she opened up about her prison experience behind bars. “It was horrifying, and no one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories,” she said at the time. “But no one should have to go through that. It’s a very, very awful thing.”

Meanwhile, shifting gears during Thursday’s livestream, Stewart discussed the books she’s been reading during isolation. In doing so, she shared why she “can’t read novels right now” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have been getting books in the mail of all sorts. I’ve, of course, gotten The Golden Flea but I’ve also been getting cookbooks,” she explained. “So I’ve been cooking out of Dominique Ansel’s new book, Everyone Can Bake. I’ve made two things from his new book. I’ve gotten other beautiful cookbooks. I got a beautiful flower arranging book from England just the other day. So I’m doing a lot of research while reading.”

The former talk show host continued, “It’s not so much stories because fiction right now, to me … nothing is more fictional than what is going on right now with this coronavirus. You can’t write a better story than this, and the mystery and the craziness and the politics of this whole coronavirus, so I’m having a hard time just reading novels.”

With reporting by Lexi Ciccone

Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDCWHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.

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