Congress didn't ask Martha Stewart to testify about her involvement in the ImClone insider-trading scandal, but asked the Justice Department to investigate whether she lied about her role in the matter. A sweet sum could be at stake. Under her contract, she'd receive at least $8 million if she were replaced as MSLO chairman-CEO, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. But Stewart is not entitled if she is fired for cause. And the company's board can revoke the severance if she is convicted of a felony or willful gross misconduct, either of which causes "material and demonstrable damage to our business or reputation." The stock has tumbled about $10 a share since the ImClone matter surfaced and executives have said marketers are taking a cautious approach to purchasing ads. A MSLO spokesman would not comment on her contract, saying Stewart "continues to fulfill her business and creative responsibilities."
Vince McMahon's WWE introduced a storyline about two gay wrestlers, Billy and Chuck, who got some crowd support. Then last week just as they were ready to tie the knot on UPN's "SmackDown!," Billy and Chuck declared their heterosexuality and the wedding went belly up. Did the WWE believe a gay tandem wouldn't play to its red-state fans? No, says WWE rep Gary Davis: "At the end of the day, we're all about surprise and we're not really about trying to push forward social issues to make a point." When a frustrated GLAAD spokesman Scott Seomin heard of the 180, he said: "The potential gay-bashing viewer can say, `See I knew somebody that cool and that strong couldn't possibly be gay.' And it's disappointing."
contributing: craig endicott and jon fine