Keith Naughton

Stories by Keith Naughton

  • Toyota Triumphs

    When U.S. automakers teetered on the brink of collapse 25 years ago, Japan-bashing in Detroit was in full swing--literally--as autoworkers took sledgehammers to Toyotas. Today, General Motors and Ford are facing another epic financial crisis. But this time, no one is taking a swing at Toyota in Motown. Instead, Michigan's glamorous governor, Jennifer Granholm, stood before a bank of TV cameras last month in the sunny atrium of Toyota's Ann Arbor R&D center and gushed: "We are excited about Toyota's future in Michigan and we want to roll out the welcome mat." In front of her were a half dozen smiling Toyota executives who had just closed a deal for a $150 million expansion of their Michigan research lab, where they will incubate more new models in their drive to overtake GM as the world's No. 1 automaker. Granholm doesn't fear a backlash for her ardent wooing of Toyota (including $39 million in tax breaks). After all, Toyota is offering her constituents something GM is taking...
  • RED, WHITE & BOLD

    When U.S. automakers teetered on the brink of collapse 25 years ago, Japan-bashing in Detroit was in full swing--literally--as autoworkers took sledgehammers to Toyotas. Today General Motors and Ford are facing another epic financial crisis. But this time, no one is taking a swing at Toyota in Motown. Instead, Michigan's glamorous governor, Jennifer Granholm, stood before a bank of TV cameras last week in the sunny atrium of Toyota's Ann Arbor R&D center and gushed: "We are excited about Toyota's future in Michigan, and we want to roll out the welcome mat." In front of her were a half-dozen smiling Toyota executives who had just closed on a deal for a $150 million expansion of their Michigan research lab, where they will incubate more new models in their drive to overtake GM as the world's No. 1 automaker. Granholm doesn't fear a backlash for her ardent wooing of Toyota (including $39 million in tax breaks). After all, Toyota is offering her constituents something GM is taking...
  • A PUZZLING PROBLEM

    Tupperware CEO Rick Goings wants America to throw a new kind of party, where "decadent desserts" are made with his company's kitchen gadgets. But his marketing budget is being diverted instead to auditors who treat his execs "like criminals" in order to comply with stringent new regulations aimed at preventing another Enron. Goings gripes that they've tripled his auditing bill and cut profits 10 percent. It's enough to send the all-American company packing. "You start looking around and saying, 'Maybe I ought to be a public company in a more reasonable market'," he says. "Like Germany."The weak dollar might seem scary, but what's really frightening business executives these days are these tough new regs. They seemed like such a good idea three years ago, when Congress rammed through the Sarbanes-Oxley law in the wake of massive accounting fraud at Enron and WorldCom. But now one provision that requires more oversight by auditors has triggered a backlash. Companies have discovered...
  • Martha Breaks Out

    AFTER FIVE MONTHS IN PRISON, MARTHA'S PRIMED AND READY FOR HER NEXT ACT: TWO TV SHOWS AND A MARKETING BLITZ STAGE-MANAGED BY A NEW A-LIST TEAM. INSIDE THE MARTHA MAKEOVER MACHINE.
  • ROAD TEST | MUSTANG GT

    I parked my fire-red Mustang GT next to a $75,000 Jaguar, and the Jag's elegant owner raved: "Is that the new Mustang? It's absolutely gorgeous!" And so it is. From its shark nose to its fastback, the '05 Mustang is a study in full-throttle car design. Its 300-horsepower V-8 engine and snap-tight, five-speed gearbox make this one wild ride. In fact, it was a little too unbridled for my wife, who was rattled by its propensity to fishtail around corners and its deafening engine roar. Oh, sure, it would be nice if Ford offered electronic stability control and had engineered a more road-hugging rear suspension. But that would have boosted the price of this relative bargain and diluted its old-school feel. The interior is a throwback, too, with pie-plate gauges, satin aluminum trim and a beefy three-spoke steering wheel. The coolest new touch, MyColor, lets you adjust the backlight of the gauges to 125 different shades for an extra $450. But what really makes this a horse of a different...
  • BRITISH INVASION

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial Midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works in progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by its Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at last month's Detroit auto show were the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC...
  • BRITISH INVASION: DETROIT'S BRAWNY NEW LOOK SEEMS ALL-AMERICAN. BUT MANY HOT DESI

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial Midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works in progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by its Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at last month's Detroit auto show were the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC...
  • BRITISH INVASION

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works-in-progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by our Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at this month's Detroit auto show are the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC Graphyte...
  • CARS: WHAT'S IN? TRICKED OUT.

    A big black SUV tricked out with 20-inch chrome rims, smoked-glass taillights and a snarling, double-barreled exhaust cruised a crowded parking lot last week. "You've got some bling," one admirer shouted to the driver. It could have been a scene from a rap video. But it was a church parking lot in Clearwater, Fla., and the SUV's driver was Byron Hassell, a 40-year-old veterinarian. "I'm just a conservative suburban dad," he says, "but I want to drive something that stands out."Forget cookie-cutter cars. These days, everyone's ride is pimped. Spurred on by car-makeover shows like MTV's "Pimp My Ride" and TLC's "Overhaulin'," American drivers spent a record $29 billion in 2003 accessorizing their cars with big rims, mesh grilles, neon cupholders--you name it. That's twice what we spent upgrading our wheels a decade ago. But now all those tattooed tuners on cable are giving Main Street cred to chopping (squashing the roof), slamming (lowering the ride) and dubs (20-inch wheels). "If...
  • TRUMP: TIME TO MEET THE PARENTS

    I interviewed Donald Trump in February, with his supermodel girlfriend, Melania Knauss, by his side--along with a mysterious, unnamed middle-aged couple, who sat impassively. We dined on shrimp and filet mignon at his Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., surrounded by some of the world's richest people. Trump lifted his hair to show me it was real. "I think he looks very handsome," Melania said, to which he cooed, "Baby, that's the only thing that matters." She purred like a kitten when I asked if they would get married. At the time, Trump, 57, and his 33-year-old Slovenian beauty were not yet engaged. But in April, Trump popped the question and gave fiancee No. 3 a rock the New York Post described as a "giant sparkler." Once the prenup is signed, they're to be wed Jan. 22, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. (Maybe they'll sleep in the bridal suite, where I stayed during my reporting trip.)News of their engagement answered the mystery of the silent couple at...
  • SEEING GREEN

    Even when he's getting his Saturday-morning espresso at Starbucks, Bill Ford Jr. can't escape the pressures of being Detroit's best-known environmentalist. On his days off lately, the automotive scion and CEO of Ford Motor Co. has been buttonholed by greenies demanding to know why he hasn't come out with cars that run on air. That's right, air. A tiny company in Luxembourg claims to have invented a car that powers the pistons with compressed air (it promises to put them on sale next year, but the company has failed to deliver before). Since that "breakthrough" news hit the morning shows in October, Bill Ford--the self-described "environmental industrialist"--has been inundated by people accusing him of hiding magical air cars in his company's garages. "People think we have these things squirreled away somewhere and that we're artificially suppressing them," he says. "You know how crazy that is?"Bill Ford has learned the hard way that it isn't easy being green. When he became...
  • CLEAN START

    Last week most inmates at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia were making 12 cents an hour cleaning toilets and doing laundry. But on Wednesday, inmate No. 55170-054 made $32.7 million without lifting a finger. So does crime really pay? Well, not exactly. This particular convict is Martha Stewart, who is doing a five-month stretch for obstruction of justice in the ImClone stock scandal. And her big payday came thanks to Kmart's $11.5 billion takeover of Sears, which Wall Street cheered by driving up the stock price of her company more than 6 percent, since her popular housewares might soon line the shelves of both retailers. By the weekend Martha's stake in her own company was worth $563.4 million, near its highest value since she made that unfortunate stock trade three years ago.In a forgiving nation, Stewart's comeback seemed assured once she decided to do time. But who knew it would start before she's even out of the joint? Yet she is suddenly transforming from damaged...
  • GREEN & MEAN

    Avnish Bhatnagar has always lusted after fast cars like racy BMWs. But when the California computer programmer and his wife had their first baby this year, they needed something more practical. So Bhatnagar, 35, searched online and found an SUV with neck-snapping speed and enough room for the baby stroller. What is this souped-up SUV? A Lexus RX 400h gas-electric hybrid that runs on batteries as well as gasoline. No golf cart, it packs 270 horsepower, making it one of the fastest cars in the Lexus lineup.It also goes more than 800 kilometers on a tank of gas. He'll have to be patient, though, because the 400h doesn't go on sale for five months. "If the 400h had less horsepower," he says, "I'd be far less interested."The hybrid craze may have started out as a funky science experiment that appealed to environmentalists and a few Hollywood celebrities, but the new generation of hybrid hot-rods may be about to transform this eco-fad into a mainstream love affair. The megawatt U.S....
  • OFFICER, IT'S A HYBRID

    As I cruise along a leafy Washington, D.C., parkway, I decide to see what the hybrid Honda Accord can do. I veer into the passing lane, punch the accelerator and suddenly I'm silently propelled ahead of all other traffic. No engine roar. No squeal of winding gears. Just an electric warp-speed thrust. I glance down and am startled to discover I'm going 90mph. My passenger warns this road is heavily patrolled. I slow down.This $30,000 Honda is nothing like other hybrids I've driven. The others are just as stingy on horsepower as they are on gas. But the Accord packs 255 horses under the hood--15 more than a regular V-6 Accord. And it handles nimbly and hugs the road. Indeed, there's no nerdy gadgetry in this car. It doesn't have an in-dash computer, like other hybrids, giving me constant--and distracting--readouts on mileage. There's just a pair of subtle blue and green light bars beneath the speedometer that show when the electric motor is working and when it's charging. There's also...
  • GREEN & MEAN

    Avnish Bhatnagar has always lusted after fast cars like racy BMWs. But when the California computer programmer and his wife had their first baby this year, they needed something more practical. A minivan was out of the question. So Bhatnagar, 35, searched online and found an SUV with neck-snapping speed and enough room for the baby stroller. What is this souped-up SUV? A Lexus RX 400h gas-electric hybrid. That's right. A hybrid. Those quirky cars that run on batteries as well as gasoline. But this hybrid is no golf cart. It packs 270 horsepower, making it one of the fastest cars in the Lexus lineup. Oh, and it goes 500 miles on a tank of gas and doesn't foul the air. He'll have to be patient, because the 400h doesn't go on sale for five months. For now, Bhatnagar will just have to dream of that electric power surge as he leaves other drivers in the dust. "If the 400h had less horsepower," he says, "I'd be far less interested in it."Start your engines: the age of the hot-rod hybrid...
  • FULL THROTTLE

    Mitch Hammack never misses "American Chopper." After a long day on his California alfalfa farm, he likes to unwind by tuning in to see the bike-building Teutul family curse each other as they create motorcycle sculpture. Watching all those hot rides come to life, though, made Hammack feel like his old pickup just didn't cut it. So last winter he bought a $19,000 kit from a custom-bike shop and built his own American chopper: a low rider with an endless front fork and a "candy brandy wine" paint job with knife-blade flames. Now he's greeted like a rock star when he rides into town and his buddies are itching to get their own choppers. "They all watch 'American Chopper'," says Hammack, 31. "That show feeds the frenzy."Move over, "Easy Rider." There's a new leader of the pack in American cycle culture. In every generation, there comes an iconic motorcycle moment. The Greatest Generation had Brando's leather-clad "Wild One." Baby boomers had Peter Fonda's star-spangled "Easy Rider."...
  • Q&A: Nancy Sinatra

    She'll always be her father's daughter, but Nancy Sinatra, 64, has never been shy about making a name for herself, either, most famously with the '60s hit "These Boots Are Made for Walking." She's back with a new CD that shows her hippest side yet. She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Jac Chebatoris.Have you ever done an entire interview without talking about your father?(Laughs) No.Have you ever done an entire interview without talking about the "Boots"?I just bought a new pair this morning, actually. They're quite beautiful. They're two shades of pink--a pale pink and a hot pink, but the thing is, the toes are really pointed, and that's passe. But they were too me not to take.Your new CD is great. You've got amazing collaborators--Morrissey, Bono, Jarvis Cocker. Where have you been hanging out these days, lady?What's funny is that the interest and respect that that age group is showing me is something I never saw from my own peers. I would love to have done an album along the way with Paul...
  • A CAR IS BORN

    With just three weeks to go, Oprah was still looking for something big to kick off her 19th season. General Motors, desperate to get attention for its unheralded new Pontiac G6, had already pitched Oprah on featuring the car on her December "Favorite Things" show. But during a late-August meeting at Oprah's Chicago studio, her producers upped the ante: they wanted to give a G6 to every member of the studio audience on last Monday's season premiere. And they wanted GM to donate the cars. "My eyes got really wide," recalls Pontiac marketing director Mark-Hans Richer. "It was like going over the top of a roller coaster." After Richer reminded his bosses of Oprah's Midas touch for turning books into best sellers, GM agreed to turn over 276 cars, worth more than $7 million. What did that buy them? Nearly an entire show devoted to extolling the G6, topped off by women screaming, grown men crying and Oprah jumping up and down, chanting: "Everybody gets a car!"With Oprah's car giveaway all...
  • ROAD TEST | DODGE MAGNUM

    With its gangster lean and high-caliber name, the Dodge Magnum RT is a station wagon that longs to be a street racer. To see if the Magnum can straddle the lanes of cool and comfortable, I piled my family into the low rider for a 240-mile road trip to the grandparents. The verdict: the Magnum is a better party wagon than a family hauler. In the driver's seat, the Magnum is an adrenaline rush. Its roaring 340-horsepower Hemi engine and catlike handling made me want to stomp on the pedal and blast the stereo. The review from the back seat, though, is best summed up by my kids' oft-repeated line: "You're touching me!" Unlike many SUVs and all minivans, the Magnum does not come with a third row of seats. And its chopped-top roof and blacked-out windows gave my kids a bad case of claustrophobia (and crankiness). Oh, sure, there are practical touches, like the reconfigurable trunk filled with nooks that can keep a gallon of milk from busting loose. But the Magnum is really all about 'tude...
  • 'I WILL BE BACK'

    Though she had just been sentenced to prison, Martha Stewart stormed the courthouse steps last Friday like a woman who had been exonerated. She swept through her entourage and confronted the media horde that had dogged her for two years. "Is this on?" she said, grabbing the microphone, brushing back her blond locks and launching into a withering condemnation of her prosecution. "That a small personal matter has been able to be blown out of all proportion and with such venom and gore, I mean, it's just terrible," she seethed over her obstruction conviction in the ImClone stock scandal. "I have been choked and almost suffocated to death." Her steely demeanor was a stark contrast to the Martha who moments earlier had made a teary appeal for leniency to a judge. Now that she'd received the lightest sentence possible--five months in a federal pen, five months under house arrest at her Bedford, N.Y., manse--Stewart had a score to settle. And a business to rebuild. Looking squarely at the...
  • SENTENCING: MARTHA'S LAST PLEA

    Stock analyst Dennis McAlpine visited Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recently and got quite a tour. CEO Sharon Patrick pitched him hard on how the company could carry on despite Stewart's conviction in the ImClone stock scandal, even showing off employees cooking in Martha's kitchen. McAlpine says, "Sharon went out of her way to show me why the company would survive."Martha Stewart disagrees. When she faces a federal judge to be sentenced Friday, looking at 10 to 16 months in jail, Stewart will argue that her company's 545 employees depend on her particular skills. Stewart is citing a 1995 federal case that allowed a convicted steel-company exec to avoid jail because his company would go under without him. The executive was critical because he had special steel-trading skills. Legal experts doubt Stewart's domestic skills are equally unique.To make the case she's indispensable, Stewart needs Patrick's backing. But that puts Martha's legal needs in conflict with her company's...
  • CHINA HITS THE ROAD

    For decades, You Xiaoyi rode a bike to his job at a state-run factory in China. In the 1980s he upgraded to a Beijing public bus. But today You, 70, owns his own factory, and he's ready for the ultimate status symbol of China's accelerating middle class: a new car. He test-drove Buicks and Audis but settled on a silver $15,000 VW Jetta. "Chinese aren't worried about Maoist ideologies anymore," he says, looking out over a sea of new models on a Beijing lot. "We're only concerned with making money."Voracious new capitalists like You are making China the hottest car market in the world. Last year China snapped up more than 4 million cars, surpassing Germany to become the world's third largest car market. And auto execs say China is poised to become the world's No. 2 auto market--trailing only the United States. That's why giddy auto execs descended on the Beijing Auto Show this month. General Motors launched its Cadillac luxury line with a dazzling ceremony at the Forbidden City,...
  • FED UP WITH FILLING UP

    John Luber reached the breaking point when he took the family SUV for a fill-up recently and the pump didn't stop spinning until it hit $65. When the Cincinnati-area dentist got home, he sat down with his wife and did the math. With their GMC Yukon getting only 13mpg and gas at $2 a gallon, they discovered their monthly fuel bill was more like a car payment: $385. So last month the Lubers doubled down. They traded in one guzzling SUV for two sipping Hondas. The new math: the family gas bill is slashed nearly in half. "We don't miss the big SUV," says Luber. "Not at all."Pain at the pump is threatening America's long love affair with SUVs. Sales of large SUVs, which boomed earlier this year, fell 5 percent in April and May as pump prices soared. And that could be just the beginning. Neither two-buck gas nor the stress on SUVs is expected to ease up any time soon. Analysts warn that we shouldn't take comfort in the recent small drop in gas prices. What we're experiencing is not just...
  • AUTOMOBILES: CHINA HITS THE ROAD

    For decades You Xiaoyi rode a bike to his job at a state-run factory in China. In the 1980s he upgraded to a Beijing public bus. But today You, 70, owns his own factory, and he's ready for the ultimate status symbol of China's accelerating middle class: a new car. He test-drove Buicks and Audis but settled on a silver $15,000 VW Jetta. "Chinese aren't worried about Maoist ideologies anymore," he says, looking out over a sea of new models on a Beijing lot. "We're concerned only with making money."Voracious new capitalists like You are making China the hottest place in the world to sell cars. Last year China snapped up more than 4 million automobiles, surpassing Germany to become the world's third largest market. It is now poised to leap past Japan to the No. 2 spot--trailing only the United States. That's why giddy auto execs descended on the Beijing Auto Show this month. General Motors launched its Cadillac luxury line with a ceremony at the Forbidden City staged by filmmaker Ang...
  • MARTHA HOLDS OUT A HELPING HAND

    As her sentencing date approaches, Martha Stewart is searching for a way to stay out of jail--or at least get out of jail early. NEWSWEEK has learned that Stewart will seek to serve all or part of her sentence helping underprivileged women start their own businesses. She recently approached the Women's Venture Fund, a New York nonprofit, offering to work 20 hours a week teaching low-income and minority women to become entrepreneurs. She even created her own curriculum to teach the art and science of cleaning. "Can you imagine if we had graduates of the Martha Stewart cleaning program bidding for contracts cleaning Hilton Hotels?" WVF president Maria Otero told NEWSWEEK. Sources close to the case confirm Stewart's strategy.Martha faces long odds on transforming a felony conviction into a teachable moment. But she intends to ask U.S. District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum to shorten her jail time so she can work up to 1,000 hours at WVF. Last week Otero wrote a three-page letter explaining...
  • Trailblazer By Design

    Many fathers and sons bond over baseball. For Ed Welburn and his father, it was cars. Beginning when he was 2, Welburn and his dad would lie on the living-room floor of their Philadelphia home, scribbling away for hours. Dad, a car buff who owned an auto-repair shop, penciled long-nosed 1930s Duesenbergs, and little Eddie traced over them. Finally confident enough to draw on his own, Eddie, not yet 3, took down every book from his parents' shelves and scrawled cars inside their covers. When Evelyn Welburn discovered the graffiti in dozens of books, she didn't scold her toddler. "I told everyone, 'You should see what my little boy can do'," she recalls.A half century after leaving his mark in Mom's books, Ed Welburn, 53, is living his childhood fantasy: he's the new chief designer for the world's largest automaker, General Motors. Only the sixth man to hold that job in GM's 95-year history, Welburn also is the first African-American to run the design studio of any major automaker....
  • Hot Wheels: Chrysler's 'Poor Man's Bentley'

    Once Howard Sucher saw the audacious Chrysler 300 on the Internet, he had to have it. But the Chrysler dealer near his home in Boca Raton, Fla., told him he'd have to wait five months. So Sucher and his wife traveled 180 miles to get a $38,000 satin-jade 300C, the model with a steroidal 340-horsepower Hemi engine. Sherrie Sucher is giddy about a car that "looks like a Bentley" and gives her a break from the hulking family SUV. "I'm tired of driving around with all the drink boxes and diapers," she says. "I'll feel renewed in this car."Detroit has come out with plenty of hot SUVs and pickups in the past few years. But Chrysler is doing something Detroit hasn't managed in decades: generating buzz for a traditional car. You remember those things--they have four doors but no four-wheel drive. GM is also rediscovering cars, with models like the tasteful Pontiac G6. But in a culture that's big on the brash statement, car buyers like Chrysler's wild ride. After only a month on the market,...
  • BUSINESS: GETTING A BEAT ON BMW

    In the image-conscious luxury-car business, BMW has always been the car to beat. The Ultimate Driving Machine doesn't sell the best, but it laps the competition when it comes to cachet. Now, though, BMW is catching a little exhaust from two Japanese luxury lines that were once distant also-rans: Acura and Infiniti. Consumer Reports just slapped the $33,000 Acura TL on the cover of its annual auto issue, naming it the best upscale sedan on the road, nosing out the BMW 330i. And Car and Driver just judged the Infiniti G35 the No. 1 $35,000 sports sedan, also beating BMW. But it's not just the critics who are falling for the Japanese luxury duo's blend of high style and horsepower. Sales are up 27 percent at Acura and 18 percent at Infiniti this year, while BMW is down 2.3 percent. "I don't think I'll ever go back to a 3 Series," says L.A. Internet exec Seth Berkowitz, who traded in his Bimmer last month for an Acura TL.Now that Acura and Infiniti have the buyers, they've got to prove...
  • TYCO TRIAL: IT WASN'T 'OK' AFTER ALL

    A juror in the Tyco case did not flash an OK sign to the defense during deliberations, NEWSWEEK has learned. Juror Glenn Andrews told NEWSWEEK that his fellow juror Ruth Jordan "did not do that. We talked about it. She does have this nervous tic and she fixes her hair all the time." The widely reported--but misinterpreted--gesture set off a firestorm that helped cause the collapse of the six-month trial of former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and ex-CFO Mark Swartz, accused of looting their company of $600 million. Prosecutors vow to retry the men.The villain of the Tyco trial became Jordan, a former schoolteacher and lawyer who was in seclusion after the mistrial. She was demonized on the Internet after The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post identified her as the lone holdout. But Andrews says there was plenty of disagreement in the jury room. "You had 12 different backgrounds all clashing," he said. "The responsibility doesn't fall on one person." By Friday morning, though, the...
  • LAW: DEATH, OR LIFE IN A 'RUBBER ROOM'?

    Will Charles McCoy Jr., the man arrested in the Ohio shooting spree, face the death penalty? It's not an easy call. McCoy, 28, who surrendered last Tuesday in Las Vegas after a brief manhunt, is no Beltway sniper. The suspect, who is to be arraigned this week, is alleged to have taken mostly pot shots at cars, houses and schoolbuses. In 24 shootings, he's suspected of killing just one person, a 62-year-old woman. Authorities don't even classify the shooter as a "sniper" because he didn't use a high-powered rifle like the D.C. duo; McCoy's suspected of firing a 9mm pistol from highway overpasses.In order to qualify McCoy as "death eligible" under Ohio law, prosecutors have to prove he was intent on a killing spree, arguing that it was an act of terrorism or mass murder. That motive will be difficult to prove since McCoy's believed to be mentally ill. (His family says he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia; authorities suspect he stopped taking his medication.) Trucker Bill Briggs,...
  • ROLLING OFF THE LOT

    Here's a sign of economic resurgence: it's OK again to drive a Rolls-Royce. When Rolls introduced the lusciously appointed Phantom a year ago, the car dazzled and daunted in equal measure. It's not that the $320,000 sticker was a problem for a typical buyer (average net worth: $30 million). It's just that after all those business scandals, corporate fat cats didn't want to look quite so, well, fat. And the sheepskin carpets and champagne cooler seemed a tad excessive. Now, though, the well wheeled are ready to get their Rolls on. The imposing cruiser is sold out through June. "Everybody is getting over that image concern," says Rolls dealer Michael Parchment. Still, they don't want to be too flashy. Eight in 10 Phantom buyers get a conservative black or silver paint job. Not slugger Sammy Sosa. He went for "Cornish white." And took delivery, appropriately enough, on Christmas Eve.
  • MARTHA'S NEXT FIGHT: KEEPING HER JOB

    Martha Stewart is working hard to stay out of prison. After a visit to the probation office last Monday (to submit a urine sample, among other things), she sped off to tell the directors of her $250 million company that they still need her as a "creative force." After all, her new line of garden merchandise is flying off shelves, and her Turkey Hill furniture is selling briskly. (Never mind that CBS dumped her TV show and advertisers are fleeing her magazine.) Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia directors are expected to acquiesce, allowing her to remain in an unspecified creative role, though without her board seat.Remaining employed is a key to Martha's stay-out-of-jail strategy. At her June 17 sentencing hearing, Martha will argue that 550 jobs depend on her freedom, say sources close to her case. But legal experts doubt the gambit will work. "the idea that no one other than Martha Stewart can pick out matching place mats seems a stretch," says New York University law professor Harry...