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Wednesday
Oct192011

Madoff Widow Blames Bernie for Son's Suicide Attempts, Death

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- While many lost their fortunes thanks to Bernie Madoff -- the man who orchestrated the largest financial fraud scam in U.S. history -- Stephanie Madoff Mack lost her husband. Now, the widow of Mark Madoff, Bernie Madoff's oldest son, is the first inside member of the Madoff family to speak out, divulging the story of the death that she says can be traced directly to Bernie Madoff's deception.

In a searing and emotional interview to be broadcast Friday on ABC’s 20/20, Mack details how a privileged life in one of the richest families in America turned into a living nightmare after Madoff's Ponzi scheme was uncovered. Mack says the ordeal led Mark Madoff to commit suicide last December, on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. Mark had first attempted suicide in 2009, Stephanie reveals for the first time.

"He couldn't get out, he was so betrayed and so hurt by Bernie," she said.

"I hate Bernie Madoff," Stephanie said. "If I saw Bernie Madoff right now, I would tell him that I hold him fully responsible for killing my husband, and I'd spit in his face."

Mack has written a book on her life as a Madoff, The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life, scheduled for release this week by Blue Rider Press.

Stephanie, then 30, married Mark Madoff, the handsome and wealthy 40-year-old divorced father of two, in October, 2004. In attendance at their Nantucket Island wedding were many investors in Bernie Madoff's fraudulent hedge fund.

"He stood there in the corner at my wedding watching everyone dance, and he knew that everyone in that room was going to get screwed," said Mack.

The couple went on to have two children: a daughter, Audrey, and a son, Nick.

With Mark's blessing, Stephanie changed her last name to Mack to spare her family the stigma of that now reviled name. Today, her children are healthy and happy and Mack says she intends to keep them that way.

"I will never let it define my two children for the rest of our lives," she said. "The rest of my life is going to be a happy one, and not filled with deceit, and lies, and betrayal, and sorrow, and I hold onto that hope."

Watch the full story on ABC's 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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