03/06/2013 11:30 am ET Updated Mar 06, 2013

Matt Lauer Grills Martha Stewart On Macy's Lawsuit

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Martha Stewart appeared on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday to discuss the testy lawsuit she's embroiled in with Macy's. The retail giant is suing Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for breach of contract, accusing the domestic goddess' company for signing a deal to sell her products—items to which Macy's claims exclusive rights.

Stewart appeared at State Supreme Court in Manhattan to defend herself and her company on Tuesday. Lauer started off his interview with Stewart by saying that her recent court appearance "conjures up memories of 2004 and [her] conviction and [her] time in prison." He added, "It damaged your company and your brand and your reputation. Are you worried this, no matter whether you’re smiling in that picture or not, will do the same thing?"

"Well, I certainly hope not," Stewart said. "And, in 2004, I did not take the stand ... I was not able to defend myself, but yesterday I was there to defend our company, our contract with Macy’s and to defend what I have been trying to do with JCPenney."

Lauer told Stewart that the lawsuit comes at a bad time. "I mean, you’ve had a tough year. It’s well reported. The company had a tough year, a loss of reported fifty-six million dollars, layoff of about twelve percent of the staff," she said.

Stewart continued to defend her company and discuss the importance of the case, but Lauer continued to press her on the lawsuit. "Did you, when you negotiated the deal with JCPenney, think it was going to be good for Macy’s?" he asked.

"I think our product is so strong at Macy’s that it will not hurt that at all. We’re there for the Macy’s consumer. We want to be where the consumer needs and wants us," she said. Lauer then compared the situation to a hypothetical morning show dispute.

"I was thinking last night," Lauer said. "If you called me today and you said, Matt, I’m going to do the meatloaf segment with you and all my cooking segments with you on the 'Today' show, but I’m going to go to 'CBS This Morning' and I’m going to do all of my decorating segments, I think that hurts me."

At the end of the intense interview, Lauer thanked Stewart for coming on the air to discuss the lawsuit. "I know it wasn’t easy for you to sit down and do this," he said.

"And then I’m going to come and make meatloaf," she quipped.



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