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Martha Stewart responds to Katie Couric's viral comment about her

Couric's comment about the lifestyle expert in her recent memoir, "Going There," had many talking.
Martha Stewart refers to the former TODAY co-anchor as an "old friend."
Martha Stewart refers to the former TODAY co-anchor as an "old friend."Nathan Congleton / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Martha Stewart would like to set the record straight on her sense of humor, which has come under scrutiny in recent months.

In Katie Couric’s memoir “Going There,” the former TODAY co-anchor made a now-viral comment about Martha Stewart with the 64-year-old journalist writing at one point, "It took a few years and some prison time for Martha to develop a sense of humor."

During an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” Thursday, Stewart was asked by fans what her reaction was to Couric’s comment. Rather than condemn the comment however, the 80-year-old let bygones be bygones.

“You know, Katie’s an old friend and old friends can say anything they damn well please,” she replied, before adding, “And I still wrote to her and said ‘What the hell?’”

The show’s host, Andy Cohen, chimed in with a follow-up question for the lifestyle expert, asking, “Do you think that you did not have a sense of humor before going away?”

“I’ve always had a sense of humor and I will continue to have a sense of humor,” Stewart replied.

When asked by Cohen if she thought that perhaps people just didn’t realize she was funny, Stewart replied, “No, I think people didn’t know me well enough to know if I had one or not, I guess, but I’ve always had a great sense of humor.”

It appears that despite the comment, Stewart and Couric's friendship is still intact. In fact, Stewart said she wasn’t even mad at Couric and told Cohen, “Not worth it. Life is too short.”

Between 2004 and 2005, Stewart spent five months at a minimum-security federal prison in West Virginia after lying to investigators about the sale of a stock. She opened up about her experience in prison with Couric on her podcast in 2017 and called it a “horrifying experience.”

“It was horrifying, and no one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories,” Stewart said. “But no one should have to go through that. It’s a very, very awful thing.”

She also told Couric that she didn’t view prison as a “growth experience” for her.

“That you can make lemons out of lemonade? What hurts you makes you stronger?” she said. “No. None of those adages fit at all. It’s a horrible experience. Nothing is good about it, nothing.”

In October, Couric joined Savannah Guthrie live on TODAY to talk about her memoir and her decision to candidly discuss a variety of topics, including details from her time at national news outlets, as well as her relationship with former colleagues, including late broadcaster Larry King and former CBS CEO Les Moonves.

"I wanted to kind of share the messy parts, what real life was like," Couric said. "I think you see all sides of me, and my truth. I feel comfortable with that. I think it's kind of an emotional rollercoaster."

After certain remarks from her book went viral, including the one about Stewart, Couric told Savannah that her book was being “wildly misrepresented.”

"I don't think the tone and the spirit and the content of the book is like the tabloid headlines I understand are kind of portraying it," she said. "It is honest, but it's very complimentary about many, many people. I think I'm harshest on myself. It's very self-critical."