Lifestyle queen Martha Stewart wants to start her five month prison sentence as soon as possible to put the "nightmare" behind her.

Stewart was sentenced to five months in jail and five months of house arrest after being convicted in March (04) of lying about the sale of shares she owned.

Since then she has been waiting to start her sentence - but she is eager to get it under way and is even prepared to forfeit an appeal to do so.

She said today, "I want to put this nightmare behind me. I want to reclaim my good life and good works.

"While I and my attorneys firmly believe in the strength of (my) appeal, recent delays and extensions have now made it abundantly clear that my appeal will not be heard until sometime next year (05). So I have decided to serve my sentence now."

The 63-year-old also wants to be free in time to plant her spring garden next March (05).

She adds, "I am very sad that I will miss the holiday seasons.

"I would like to be back as early in March as possible in order to plant the spring garden."

15/09/2004 21:41