Archive for Friday, February 6, 2004

Brokerage assistant says Stewart yelled, hung up

February 6, 2004

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— The star witness against Martha Stewart testified Thursday that she had berated him at least twice and once even threatened to take her business elsewhere because she didn't like the telephone hold music.

The testimony by Douglas Faneuil came during cross-examination by a defense lawyer who sought to show that the young brokerage assistant may have been out to get Stewart.

Faneuil, who handled the questionable stock trade at the heart of Stewart's trial, confirmed that he wrote e-mails describing tirades by Stewart.

In one e-mail on Oct. 23, 2001, after handling a call from Stewart at Merrill Lynch & Co., Faneuil told a friend: "I have never, ever been treated more rudely by a stranger in my life. She actually hung up on me!"

Three days later, he wrote to another friend: "Martha yelled at me again today, but I snapped in her face and she actually backed down! Baby put Ms. Martha in her place!!!"

Shown copies of the e-mails in court Thursday, Faneuil said: "I believe I wrote those words exactly."

The e-mails emerged under questioning by a lawyer for Peter Bacanovic, Stewart's former stockbroker, who is accused of ordering Faneuil to give Stewart the tip that led her to dump all her ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001.

Robert Morvillo, Stewart's lead lawyer, was expected to begin his own cross-examination of Faneuil on Monday. The trial will be in recess today.

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