Martha Stewart Accused of Stealing Famous Recipe by Former Employee

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is facing a new allegation of stealing in regard to her first cookbook Entertaining, which was released in 1982 and helped kickstart her career.

The 82-year-old is the subject of a new CNN series called The Many Lives of Martha Stewart that takes a deep look at her life over the decades. In the first episode, via Daily Mail, a former catering staffer named Sarah Gross alleged that Stewart took her recipe for a cranberry nut tart and used it in her first cookbook without giving credit.

Gross described how she brought the recipe with her when she started working with Stewart and her catering business, with the two making the recipe together for years before Stewart took full credit for it in the book.

"They became so much part of the repertoire that who knows if she even remembers that it was my recipe," she said, before explaining how the two's business relationship ended.

"I was working for Martha, getting paid $8 to $10 an hour max. I don't think I ever got paid more than that, and I was doing so much for her," Gross recalled, before stating that she eventually decided to ask for more from her employer. "I told [Stewart] that if I was going to be giving my heart and soul—and by that point, I felt like I was—that I needed a title."

According to Gross, both Stewart and her husband Andrew denied her request, with the former staffer concluding, "That's Martha, she had a vision of where she wanted to go and nothing and nobody was going to get in her way."

Alongside the new show, CNN took a close look at Stewart's first cookbook, Entertaining, and shared that Stewart faced other accusations of stealing recipes in the past from people like chef Barbara Tropp and Norma Collier, the latter being Stewart's former business partner.

After Entertaining came out, Stewart went on to release numerous cookbooks, with her latest being Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts, released in late 2021. Her highly anticipated 100th cookbook is on its way.

Parade has reached out to Martha Stewart's rep for comment.

Next: Why Fans Were Concerned for Martha Stewart After Her Name Began Trending