Blondes: Trading Places

The feds might still be hounding Martha Stewart, but Hollywood appears to have forgiven her. Lacking a real ending to the story, the producers of Monday's NBC biopic dreamed up a scene where adoring fans mob Stewart. "We decided that people in Middle America probably couldn't care less what's going on with her stock troubles," says executive producer Howard Braunstein. "People love her." The Feds aren't so easily charmed. Although Stewart's lawyers are trying to cut a deal for leniency, NEWSWEEK has learned that the U.S. attorney in Manhattan is still strongly considering indicting her for insider trading and obstruction of justice. The Feds have even contemplated going after Stewart on charges of manipulating the stock market by providing a bogus alibi to avoid tarnishing her company's image. Stewart, who declined to comment for this story, has long insisted she did nothing illegal by dumping $227,000 in ImClone stock a day before federal regulators rejected the company's cancer drug. And Cybill Shepherd, who plays Stewart in the movie, empathizes with the queen of perfection. "There's just something about being blond and powerful," Shepherd says, "that really pisses people off."