Entries in Ruth Madoff (4)


Stephanie Madoff Fires Back at Ruth Madoff's Suicide Claims

Courtesy Stephanie Madoff Mack(NEW YORK) -- Stephanie Madoff, the widow of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff's son Mark, has fired back at claims mother-in-law Ruth Madoff made on TV about her own alleged suicide attempt, as well as those brother-in-law Andrew Madoff made in a new book about the family.

Stephanie Madoff said on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show Anderson Wednesday that she was offended by Ruth Madoff's revelations on CBS' 60 Minutes that she and her husband attempted suicide on Christmas Eve 2008 by swallowing prescription pills.

"I have no idea what went on in that penthouse that night, but for Ruth to talk about trying to kill herself so flippantly like that is so offensive to me, because that's how my husband died," she said.

Stephanie's husband, Mark Madoff, took his life on the second anniversary of his father's arrest in December 2011.  Mark Madoff hanged himself in the couple's New York loft.

"Ruth says she was happy that she woke up.  I'm happy for Ruth that she woke up, but I just wish that my husband had, and he didn't," she said.

Stephanie Madoff, 37, said she was also upset by Ruth's confession in Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family that her husband's infidelity was "the most hurtful thing" that ever happened to her -- more so than the suicide of her son.

"To say that the affair was doesn't make sense to me.  She doesn't make sense to me," she said.

She also took the opportunity to hit back at Andrew Madoff's claims in Truth and Consequences, a book that Andrew Madoff's financee, Catherine Hooper, helped bring about, that Stephanie and Mark had a rocky relationship, and that Stephanie was days away from leaving Mark when he was found hanged.

Though Stephanie said she's shocked and offended by Ruth's comments, Stephanie still believes that her mother-in-law had no knowledge of Bernard Madoff's crimes, and remains undecided as to whether she will allow her young children to have a relationship with their grandmother.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: Madoff 'Can Live with' Fraud Victims' Anger, but Not Family's

Mario Tama/Getty Images(BUTNER, N.C.) -- Convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff was forced to "let...go" of his wife almost a year ago and is plagued by "horrible nightmares" as he sits in a North Carolina prison, he told ABC News' Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview.

Though he said he "can live with" the anger of people he defrauded out of billions of dollars, and he is adjusting to the rhythms of life in prison, even at 73 years old, he is troubled by anger and turmoil within his own family.

"Not seeing my family and knowing they hate me" is the worst thing about being in prison, he said. "I betrayed them."

Asked what he'd like to say to his grandchildren, he said, without apparent emotion, "I am sorry to have caused them pain."

As he sat across from Walters during a two-hour conversation at the Federal Correction Complex at Butner, N.C., on Oct. 14, Madoff often seemed to be trying as much as possible to feel no pain himself.

Madoff said he passes the time by reading, recently finishing a book about Wall Street robber barons.

The man who ran a Ponzi scheme of more than $60 billion has held six or seven different jobs in prison, he said, and he makes $170 a month.

He said he is relieved to be free from years of fear he'd be discovered as a fraud and finally has overcome thoughts of suicide.  

Repeatedly throughout the interview he told Walters that he was guilty of the crimes that put him in prison, saying "I deserved to be punished. I deserved to go to jail."

"I feel safer here than outside," Madoff said. "Days go by.  I have people to talk to and no decisions to make...I know that I will die in prison.  I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear.  Now I have no fear -- nothing to think about because I'm no longer in control of my own life."

Though Madoff has people to talk to in prison, his family situation is far more complicated.  He has not spoken to his wife, Ruth Madoff, since after the suicide of their son, Mark Madoff, on Dec. 11, 2010.  And Mark Madoff's widow, Stephanie Madoff Mack, has told ABC News she holds Bernie Madoff responsible for her son's death and, "I'd spit in his face," if she ever saw him again.

Madoff told Walters that his wife used to visit him at the prison weekly and they spoke on the phone daily.  In order to visit Butner, N.C., Ruth Madoff would drive 12 hours alone, stay at a motel overnight and drive 12 hours back to Florida, which was hard on her.

But after their son's suicide, the couple had an emotional final meeting at the prison at which Ruth Madoff "asked me to let her go, which I understood," Madoff said.

Madoff told Walters he has not reached out to his wife since that final meeting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bernie Madoff and Wife Ruth Attempted Suicide

Stephanie Madoff(NEW YORK) -- The wife of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff says that she and Bernie were so upset after the collapse of his multi-billion-dollar fraud that they decided to commit suicide together on Christmas Eve.

"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening," Ruth Madoff told Morley Safer of CBS News. "We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said, '...I just can't go on anymore.'"

Ruth Madoff says that she and her husband downed pills, Ambien and perhaps Klonopin on Christmas Eve 2008, just after their sons Mark and Andrew had turned Bernie into federal authorities. She says she didn't mix the pills with alcohol because she was afraid they would vomit the pills back up.

"I took what we had, he took more," said Ruth. "We took pills and woke up the next day....It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up."

Ruth's son Mark committed suicide two years later, on Dec. 11, 2010, the second anniversary of his father's arrest. Mark's wife Stephanie told Chris Cuomo of ABC News' 20/20 that Mark felt Ruth was wrong to stand by Bernie.

"He couldn't understand how she could continuously stand by this man who ruined so many lives, who ruined his life," said Stephanie.

Stephanie said she blamed both Ruth and Bernie for her husband Mark's death.

"Yes, I'm angry at her," said Stephanie.

"If you're angry at her," asked Cuomo, "how do you feel about Bernie?"

"I hate Bernie Madoff," answered Stephanie. "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."

Ruth went into hiding in Florida after Madoff went to prison, even dying her hair red in an effort to avoid being recognized when she returned to New York.

Bernie Madoff, now 73, is currently serving a 150-year sentence for fraud in a federal prison in North Carolina.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Madoff Belongings Bring Big Bucks at Auction

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- People who lost money to convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff may take some consolation from the fact that he is in prison, and perhaps even more from the result of a government auction held this weekend in New York.

The highest priced item was a 10.5 carat diamond ring worn by his wife, Ruth Madoff, which brought in a half-million dollars.  One of Bernard Madoff's "Moon Phase" Rolex watches, expected to bring in $60,000, sold for $67,000.  Ten pairs of used designer shoes brought in $900.

The proceeds of the auctions go to the victims of his scams.  The government-run sales have brought in millions, but it's a small fraction of the billions he was convicted of swindling from thousands of clients.

One more sale is planned to auction off the contents from his former Florida home.

Madoff is spending life in prison in North Carolina.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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