June 06, 2003 11:00 AM

MARTHA MESS: Martha Stewart, 61, was indicted Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, accused of dumping her stock in the biotechnology company ImClone in December 2001 after receiving illegal insider information, then covering her tracks and lying to investigators and shareholders. Hours after appearing in court, the domestic diva stepped down as chairman and CEO of the media company that carries her name.

HILLARY’S HURT: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoir “Living History” was previewed this week. “The most difficult decisions I have made in my life were to stay married to Bill and to run for the Senate from New York,” the senator, 55, writes in the book. She reveals that her husband lied to her about his relationship with Monica Lewinksy until the weekend before he admitted the affair to a grand jury. In the end, she writes, she decided that she still loved her husband, although “as a wife, I wanted to wring Bill’s neck.”

NO O: Oprah doesn’t have her eye on the White House. “People say, ‘Never say never,'” said Winfrey, 49, making a whistle-stop in Seattle as part of her “Live Your Best Life Tour” sponsored by O, The Oprah Magazine. But when it comes to politics, “I can say, ‘Never,'” the media mogul insisted. The comment came after one fan passed out bumper stickers promoting the idea of Oprah for President, the Associated Press reported.

DAVE DIVES: Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” on NBC is crushing David Letterman’s “Late Show” on CBS by more than 60 percent among viewers age 18 to 49, the demographic coveted by advertisers. That’s the widest margin in four years, the New York Post reported. Last month, Leno claimed 6.3 million viewers vs. Letterman’s 4 million.

CANCELED CHICKS: Natalie Maines and her fellow Dixie Chicks were forced to cancel a sold-out concert in Cleveland Sunday night because Maines, 29, had a sore throat, the Associated Press reported. It marks the first time ever that the Chicks have called off a scheduled gig. “Natalie is not feeling very well. Her throat has some damage to it,” said sister Chick Emily Robison, 30. (The third Chick is Martie Seidel, 33.) “She’s sick right now and the doctor said, ‘If you sing tonight, you’re just going to make it worse.'” The Chicks were back to singing as the week wore on.

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