Martha Stewart Told This Star to "Be Quiet" and Stop "Trying to Be" Her
"If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart."
Using cake as a weapon may sound like something that would only happen in a school cafeteria, but that's not the case if you're Martha Stewart. For nearly a decade, the home expert has been part of a lifestyle brand feud with an actor she once accused of "trying to be" her. This ongoing battle has involved barbs thrown during interviews, shady talk show appearances, and the publication of some suspicious dessert recipes. Read on to find out which Oscar-winner Stewart has been feuding with since 2013.
It all started nine years ago…
In 2013, in an interview with Bloomberg, Stewart commented on Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow started her lifestyle brand, Goop, in 2008 and, at that point, had begun releasing cookbooks of her own.
"I've never eaten at Gwyneth's house and I've never seen how she lives, but if she's authentic, all the better," Stewart said. "And I certainly hope she is. She really wants to be part of the lifestyle business. Gwyneth, for example, has a book on the bestseller list, she must be doing something right. She's a charming, pretty person, who has a feeling for lifestyle. She wants to be a lifestyle arbiter. Fine. Good. I think I started this whole category of lifestyle."
Stewart was more critical in another interview.
The following year, Stewart spoke to Porter magazine and had harsher words about Paltrow.
"She just needs to be quiet," Stewart said (via Page Six). "She's a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn't be trying to be Martha Stewart."
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Paltrow addressed Stewart's comments.
Not long after Stewart's Porter interview was published, Paltrow responded to the lifestyle maven's criticism.
"First of all, no one has ever said anything bad about me before, so I'm shocked and devastated. I'll try to recover," Paltrow joked at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in October 2014, according to Page Six. She continued, "If I'm really honest, I'm so psyched that she sees us as competition. I really am."
As Page Six reported, around this time Paltrow had hired a former Martha Stewart Living executive to be Goop's new CEO.
Stewart has continued to shade Paltrow and Goop over the years.
In 2017, Stewart appeared on Watch What Happens Live and a caller asked if the rumors were true that she was "happy" about Goop being investigated regarding allegedly deceptive health claims. Stewart replied, "Who's Goop?" before giving a more serious answer: "No, that's not true. She's a good girl."
Stewart was on the show again in 2020 and was asked about a controversial candle that Goop was selling. Stewart's response? "She does that kind of irritating… she's trying to zhuzh up the public to listen to her. That's great. Let her do her thing. I wouldn't buy that candle."
Stewart dismissed Paltrow as "a movie star" again.
In 2019, Stewart was asked by The Corp how she would "describe what Gwyneth Paltrow is doing today versus what Martha Stewart created years ago," as reported by E! News.
Stewart said, "I don't follow Goop. Sometimes I look at products that she's selling… I wish every young entrepreneur well and I hope that there are many, many, many different kinds of entrepreneurs… if they're movie stars or hardworking women like I am, who are not movie stars. If they have a good idea, I want them to be able to succeed. So good luck, Gwyneth."
The women also traded insults through desserts.
In 2014, Stewart's magazine published a section about desserts under the title, "Conscious Coupling," which very clearly references Paltrow and ex-husband Chris Martin's famous divorce announcement—the one that coined the phrase "conscious uncoupling." A month later, Goop published a recipe for "Jailbird Cake," which some took to be a joke about the fact that Stewart served time in prison in 2004. At the time, a "source close to the Goop creator" told People, "The folks at goop know how to have some fun, too. If Martha served up the appetizer, the Jailbird Cake is just desserts."
On Watch What Happens Live in 2021, host Andy Cohen asked Paltrow, "Was Goop trolling Martha Stewart with the cake recipe or did we make this up?" Leaving things on a purposely confusing note, Paltrow simply answered, "Yes."