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Kmart Pulls Globe Over Stewart Story

April 10, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ Kmart Corp., depending heavily on Martha Stewart products to help it climb out of bankruptcy, pulled this week’s issue of a supermarket tabloid that painted the domesticity maven as a ``monster.″

The April 16 issue of the Globe quoted sources the tabloid claims had ``sneak peeks″ of the book ``Martha Inc.,″ a 350-page unauthorized biography that portrayed Stewart as a ruthless businesswoman who often exploited the loyalty of her employees and family.

The book, penned by financial journalist Christopher M. Byron and published by John Wiley & Sons, hits retailers’ shelves this week.

The Globe’s front-page banner headline reads: ``Mean Martha Stewart Exposed,″ and an inside headline proclaims: ``Martha the Monster.″

Nicole Dowswell, a Kmart spokeswoman, confirmed that the issue of the Globe was ``not available″ at Kmart stores, but declined to say why. Company officials from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where Stewart serves as chairman and chief executive, declined to comment.

Gerald McKelvey, a spokesman for Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Media Inc., which published the Globe, declined to comment.

Stewart has an exclusive partnership with Kmart, selling a collection of bedsheets, kitchen accessories and closet organizers.

The fate of the discount retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in January, depends heavily on maintaining good relationships with key suppliers _ particularly the doyenne of domesticity, its top-selling vendor.

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