De-Martha-ing, not surprisingly, did not sit well with Martha. But by this point, her influence over the board was minuscule, and a number of directors who had joined what they thought would be a board “about fun and eating cookies,” as a colleague recalls, were replaced. On the advice of counsel, the board largely ceased communicating with Stewart. When she asked that the company pay all her legal expenses, on the grounds that what was good for her was good for the business, the board refused. “She said, ‘I am the company. Without me, the company’s nothing,’ ” says someone familiar with the matter. “It was a very emotional conversation.”
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