Martha Stewart proclaimed her innocence

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Martha Stewart proclaimed her innocence in a letter to the public Thursday, and thanked the public for support she says she has received in her legal battles.

The day after a federal indictment and her resignation as chairman and CEO of the company that bears her name, domestic style trendsetter Stewart published a letter in an advertisement in USA Today and on a new Web site In it she vowed to clear her name of the charges of lying to investigators who were probing her December 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock.

"I simply returned a call from my stockbroker," she said in the letter, which is addressed to "my friends and loyal supporters."

"Based in large part on prior discussions with my broker about price, I authorized a sale of my remaining shares in a biotech company called ImClone," the letter continued. "I later denied any wrongdoing in public statements and in voluntary interviews with prosecutors. The government's attempt to criminalize these actions makes no sense to me. I am confident I will be exonerated of these baseless charges, but a trial unfortunately won't take place for months."

The letter is described as a personal statement from Stewart, not issued by or on behalf of her company. The letter promised to continue to present her side of the case on the Web site, and said it would allow members of the public to contact her as well.

"I want to thank you for your extraordinary support during the past year -- I appreciate it more than you will ever know," she said.

Stewart resigned Wednesday as chairman and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the company she founded, just hours after authorities released a nine-count, 41-page indictment federal indictment against her and Peter Bacanovic, her former stockbroker, which accused them of obstructing justice and making false statements. Stewart, 61, will remain on the board and continue to serve as what the company called its "chief creative officer."