Rosie O'Donnell Recalls Visiting Martha Stewart in Prison: 'She Looked Fantastic'

·3 min read
Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Stewart
Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Stewart

Bruce Glikas/WireImage; Paul Morigi/Getty

Rosie O'Donnell likes to make herself available to those in need.

During an appearance on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show on Monday, O'Donnell, 60, revealed that she reached out to Martha Stewart during her time in prison. (The lifestyle guru served five months at West Virginia's Alderson Federal Prison Camp in 2004, after being found guilty on charges including conspiracy and obstruction of justice.)

O'Donnell spoke about her relationship with Stewart, 81, and about how Stewart ended up asking her to come visit her in prison. She said she didn't know Stewart on a personal level, but she had been a guest on her talk show multiple times.

In an email, O'Donnell wrote Stewart and said that if she ever needed something to please let her know, she told Stern. Two months later, O'Donnell said Stewart's assistant contacted her to ask her to visit her.

"You wanna hear how silly I am?," O'Donnell says of the experience. "I thought, it's prison — I didn't take a shower ... I was trying to look as low key as I could and I walk in there and she walks through the door like she's in a Scavullo photo shoot."

"Her hair has Jolen Creme Bleach that she told me she got at the commissary. She cinched her orange jumpsuit ... she looked fantastic. and I looked like her homeless cousin from Utah."

RELATED: Martha Stewart Details Her 'Horrifying' Prison Experience: 'No One Should Have to Go Through That'

While there, O'Donnell recalled asking her, "What do you miss the most the most, aside from your daughters and your animals obviously?" And Stewart responded, "The flavor of lemon."

O'Donnell jokingly told Stern, "And I said to her, 'The flavor of lemon? Why didn't you tell me?! I would have shoved it up my hoo-ha! Come on, I would've gotten a lemon in here — that would've been nothing for me.'"

The interaction even inspired a special gift for Stewart upon her return home.

"When she came back from prison, you know what I did, Howard? I flew in a lemon tree from Capri because it was the winter — and I had it on her front porch for when she came back. And I never heard back from her again," said O'Donnell.

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When Stern asked how it felt to not hear back from Stewart, O'Donnell replied, "When I feel people have suffered greatly, I want to drop grace on them if I can. I want to give you the opportunity to recover."

RELATED: Martha Stewart Gets Candid About the Highs and Lows of Her Celebrated Life

Stewart spoke to PEOPLE in 2020 about her time in prison, revealing that it wasn't all bad.

"I got through it. I learned how to crochet. I still have the gorgeous crocheted poncho [that I wore leaving prison]. It's in the attic," she said. "And I reupped my ceramics there. I had done a lot of ceramics as a child, and we had this fabulous ceramics studio in West Virginia, and I made an entire crèche scene. That's my best memory."