NEW YORK – Martha Stewart's (search) bid for an early release — or at least to be able to leave home more often for work — was dashed by a federal judge who ordered her to serve the full five months of house arrest (search).
The homemaking maven had told Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum (search) that serving the rest of her sentence would hamper production of her two upcoming television series — a daytime talk show and a new rendition of NBC's "The Apprentice."
In a March Web chat from the estate, Stewart told fans that the electronic monitoring bracelet she must wear during house arrest is "somewhat uncomfortable and irritating."
The judge, in a tersely worded three-page order, rejected Stewart's request Monday, and said she saw "no reason to modify the sentence."
"Home detention is imposed as an alternative to imprisonment. It is designed to be confining," the judge wrote.
Stewart, 63, was convicted last year of lying to the government about a stock sale. She served five months in prison in West Virginia, then in early March began five months of house arrest at her sprawling Westchester County estate, north of New York City.
The judge declined Stewart's bid to be allowed to leave home 80 hours per week for business. Under the original sentence, she is allowed 48 hours per week.
"In my opinion, the sentence I imposed was particularly needed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law and to provide just punishment," Cedarbaum wrote.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the ruling, but Stewart's lawyers were disappointed.
"All she was seeking was the same opportunity for reconsideration as others in her position, and the chance to spend more hours at work," they said in a statement.
Prosecutors had mocked the bid for a shorter sentence, telling the judge in court papers that "minor inconvenience to one's ability to star in a television show is an insufficient ground for resentencing."
Stewart requested a resentencing after the Supreme Court earlier this year declared that federal sentencing guidelines were simply advisory for judges, rather than mandatory.
The original sentence of five months in prison and five months of home confinement was the least possible punishment Stewart could have received under the guidelines for her crimes.
Stewart and former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic were convicted of lying about why Stewart dumped nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock in 2001, just before it took a dive on a negative government report about the company.
Bacanovic began serving his own five-month prison term in January.