Property tycoon Donald Trump and comedienne ROSIE O'DONNELL have rushed to the defence of their pal Martha Stewart, after she was sentenced to five months in jail on Friday (16JUL04).

The American lifestyle guru received the jail term and a further five months of home confinement after being found guilty of lying to government investigators about a 2001 stock sale.

The 62-year-old TV star was also placed on probation and fined $30,000 (GBP16,700).

And her friends have rallied around her, including Trump, who says, "She's a very strong, very brilliant woman and this has just been a terrible tragedy for her. But she will be back."

O'Donnell adds, "Martha Stewart's conviction was wholly unjust and if there was a women's movement we would all be marching on Washington."

A defiant Stewart says of her sentencing, "I'm not afraid - I'm not afraid whatsoever. I'm just very, very sorry it has come to this."

18/07/2004 14:25