Bernie Madoff is going to die in prison. But for many people, that’s not enough for the man who swindled billions in an unprecedented Ponzi scheme that shocked the world at the height of the financial meltdown. Three years later, the Madoff family is now talking. In an interview on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, his now-estranged wife Ruth says that she and Bernie attempted suicide on Christmas Eve after his arrest. “I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening,” she told Morley Safer. “We had terrible phone calls, hate mail … and I said I just can’t go on anymore.”
The couple downed handfulls of pills and then… woke up in the morning. “It was very impulsive, and I’m glad we woke up,” she concluded. Watch below:
I don’t know how much Ruth or her son, Andrew, knew about Bernie’s crimes, but it’s difficult not to sympathize a little for them, especially after her other son killed himself last year. But any empathy is quickly evaporated by Bernie’s comments to ABC’s Barbara Walters. Though he expressed remorse and admitted to horrible nightmares, he told Walters that he is happier in prison. “Every once in awhile I find myself smiling and I’m horrified,” he said. Watch the ABC News clip below.
What makes me most furious is when he told Walters that “The average person thinks I robbed widows and orphan. I made wealthy people wealthier.” Well, that’s simply impossible. Somebody lost billions and, as he indicates himself, I’m guessing it wasn’t his wealthiest clients. They may not have been widows and orphans, but many average middle-class people lost their life savings, and to hear him be so flippant about it is galling.
How do the latest Madoff interviews make you feel? Do you feel sad for anyone in his family?