An incensed Rachael Ray exploded at Martha Stewart, sources say, after the domestic diva ripped her cooking on national TV.
The two – who head competing business empires – seemed to have ended their long-running behind-the-scenes feud recently when they appeared on each other’s daytime talk shows in mid-November.
But sources tell The ENQUIRER their war kicked back into high gear after Martha’s catty comments about Rachael, 41, in an interview with Cynthia McFadden on ABC’s Nightline on Nov. 19.
Martha, 68, pointed out that Rachael has admitted she can’t bake and slammed Rachael’s latest cookbook as a rehash of old recipes, adding: "And that’s not good enough for me."
Speaking of Rachael, Martha said: "She’s…more of an entertainer than she is – with a bubbly personality – than she is a teacher, like me."
Martha added: "She’s a totally different kind of cook than I am. I don’t know if she has a garden – I don’t think so."
When asked by ABC for a response, Rachael tried to downplay Martha’s remarks, saying: "Why would it make me mad? Her skill set is far beyond mine," jokingly adding: "I’d rather eat Martha’s (meals) than mine, too."
But in private, Rachael WAS furious, a close source told The ENQUIRER.
Rachael watched the interview – Martha’s first on network TV since she spent five months in federal prison in 2004 and 2005 for lying to investigators about a stock trade – and blew up, the source said.
"Rachael was beside herself with rage," said the close source. "She had a meltdown and screamed, ‘I HATE YOU!!!!!’
"Rachael is really upset that Martha ripped her like that. Rachael believes she’s been nothing but kind to Martha and has always respected Martha’s ‘veteran’ standing.
"Rachael believes Martha has always been jealous of her success – and thinks that Martha’s time has passed while she’s on the rise."
And there’s concrete evidence to back up Rachael’s point of view.
While revenues for Martha’s media and merchandising company fell 25 percent for the third quarter and viewership for The Martha Stewart Show has dropped, Rachael’s status as a daytime TV titan continues to strengthen.
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