Of all the cultural norms we have discarded of late, of all the things we held sacred that we no longer do, of all the public feuds that end in ignominy, this is perhaps the worst. Someone has reportedly stolen Martha Stewart’s favorite apple pie dish.
This feud goes back a few years, so we’ll start there. In 2015, one of the approximately 39,000 “Real Housewives” of Bravo’s line-up, Countess LuAnn de Lesepps, was having dinner with the U.S. ambassador to Qatar at a fancy New York French restaurant. The one and only Martha Stewart also attended this dinner, and when Ambassador Jaham Al Kuwari suggested he might want to appear on de Lesepps’ TV program, Stewart advised against it.
With her signature cold honesty, she leaned in to inform him, “You don’t want to do that. It’s lowbrow, very B-list,” sources told Page Six at the time. She is, of course, right. “The Real Housewives” franchise is unabashedly lowbrow, and that is the secret to its success.
De Lesepps overheard Stewart’s comment— “Martha, I can hear you”— and Stewart laughed it off while the ambassador assured the “Real Housewives of New York” alumna he’d indeed enjoy appearing on the show. Stewart, cold, awesome woman that she is, confirmed her part of this exchange to Page Six, while the countess declined to comment.
Fast-forward to this month, when New York Magazine featured Stewart in an article about famous New Yorkers revisiting their old New York apartments. Stewart arrived, pie in hand, natch, to the address of the Upper East Side penthouse she once shared with her first husband at age 19. That penthouse is now owned by Tom D’Agostino, until recently the husband of one Countess Luann de Lesepps. The couple was married for seven months before announcing their divorce in August.
Stewart brought him an apple pie, and the two are pictured in the magazine looking out over the balcony. Stewart is resplendent in stylish wedges, holding a plate of pie as she gestures with fork in hand, as one imagines she always does. What is a gesture, after all, if not punctuated with a kitchen utensil?
In the foreground is the rest of the pastry, in a substantial-looking white pie plate with elegant, scalloped edges atop a glass coffee table in the shadow of a miniature Trojan horse statue’s rear end.
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"It's not my style anymore. I was a little taken aback." @marthastewart did not love the renovations ex-Real Househusband Tom D'Agostino Jr. made on her first NYC apartment. When Martha visited her old penthouse, she came with apple pie in hand, because what else would you expect 🍎🍏 But Tom if you see this, could you please return the dish? It's her favorite. Tap the link in bio to read the full issue on our app. #MyNewYork #NYMag50 📸: @jonasfredwallkarlsson
Here’s where it gets weird again. Sources close to D’Agostino claim Stewart showed up unannounced, and the first he heard of the story was a call he got from the doorman when she arrived. This seems unlikely for several reasons. It is such a breach of guest protocol, I can’t imagine Stewart would make it, even though she often makes clear she operates in a sphere above all such concerns—a sort of stratosphere above etiquette.
But who shows up unannounced with a painstakingly baked pie? Her host gift game is the strongest, but she doesn’t call ahead? Color me skeptical that she’d risk standing in a lobby with a pie plate if no one were home.
She then proceeded to throw shade at D’Agostino’s recently renovated place.
“It was very beautiful and light-filled and airy — and all white, the way it was meant to be,” she said about the place when she lived there. “Now it’s much more enclosed and dark,” adding “And it’s more masculine now. I mean, he’s a bachelor now, isn’t he?”
Ouch. To be fair, Stewart knows a lot about home decorating, whereas a recently divorced “Housewives”-adjacent man probably knows how to protect his furniture from wine spills. Perhaps that’s the reason for the obviously low light in the New York Mag pic and the dark patterned pillows one imagines could take a Chardonnay hit without much problem.
When Stewart speaks the cold, hard truth, it is the truth. Except for that one time it wasn’t and she went to jail. But she took responsibility for her actions in yet another display of dignified toughness foreign to the likes of most A-list celebrities faced with such punishment, going to federal prison for five months in 2004. There she earned the prison nickname “M. Diddy,” serving as a liaison between fellow prisoners and prison administration on issues of concern, and coming out with enough cred to be Snoop Dogg’s friend.
This leads us to the question: Why steal her pie plate and then trash it, as D’Agostino has now reportedly done?
Stewart, again so devastatingly cutting, drops a request her pie plate be returned into the caption of New York Mag’s Instagram: “But Tom if you see this, could you please return the dish? It’s her favorite.”
D’Agostino’s people responded by telling Page Six it was a “cheap Pyrex number” and they’d tried to return it. Oh, h-ll no. First off, the pie plate pictured doesn’t look like a cheap, Pyrex number. It looks like heavy-duty Corningware or vintage milk glass, either of which is more pricey than standard Pyrex, not that Stewart has to put on airs.
Second, why would you do this? Is it not abundantly clear Martha Stewart will cut a b-tch? She may have just engaged in a years-long grudge match with a lowbrow, B-list “Real Housewife” to alight upon your doorstep with an apple pie and throw shade at your penthouse. Just because she can. We’re not even sure what she’s up to here.
Is she messing with D’Agostino to get to de Lesepps as some kind of payback, or is she trashing de Lesepps’ ex as an appropriately shade-filled make-up call for insulting de Lesepps’ show in 2015? Is she telegraphing her desire to form an alliance with a “Housewife,” or more likely, does she just like to watch the world burn, lit by the wick of a tastefully scented, gardenia pillar candle? We don’t have any idea what we’re dealing with, people, so why provoke her?
Ice. Cold. She will come for her pie plate, along with the dignity of your entire B-list family line. Somebody better hope his sheets are soft and absorbent enough for the horse’s head he’ll find in them shortly. May I suggest Martha Stewart Living?