- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — Martha Stewart called ImClone Systems headquarters and demanded to talk to founder Sam Waksal to find out “what was going on” with Imclone’s falling share price on the day she dumped her stock in the company, a former ImClone secretary testified yesterday.

Emily Perret, a former secretary to the now-jailed Waksal, said Mrs. Stewart was “very hurried and harsh and direct” in the call on Dec. 27, 2001.

Miss Perret said she answered that she did not know why the stock was falling and would leave a message for Waksal to return Mrs. Stewart’s call.

The government says the call occurred just after Mrs. Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone stock — the sale that triggered the investigation that now has Mrs. Stewart on trial for obstruction of justice and securities fraud.

Mrs. Stewart and her co-defendant, ex-stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, are accused of concocting a false story that they had a pre-existing agreement to sell her stable of shares of ImClone if the stock fell below $60.

Prosecutors say Mr. Bacanovic told his assistant, Douglas Faneuil, to pass a tip to Mrs. Stewart that the Waksal family was trying to sell its shares.

Waksal has admitted that he had advance knowledge of a negative government report about an ImClone cancer drug, not released publicly until Dec. 28, that sent ImClone shares into a sharp decline.

The defense has pointed out that Mrs. Stewart’s shares were a small fraction of the millions of ImClone shares that changed hands that day, and that Mrs. Stewart’s call to Waksal was a reasonable action for a savvy investor.

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