Ruth Madoff Says It ‘Would Have Been Easier’ If Bernie Hadn’t Lived Through Their Suicide Attempt

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Ruth Madoff is officially airing her feelings about her husband. Following her big 60 Minutes interview this weekend, the Times published the audio recordings of a lengthy interview with the wife of the disgraced financier, in which she very much seemed to be still processing those feelings.

Madoff spoke yet again of the suicide attempt she says she and Bernie made (which he confirmed to the paper from jail, though he previously told New York's Steve Fishman he'd never considered such a thing):


MADOFF
We were both in agreement. I don't remember what we said very much. We were figuring out how many pills to take. I think we were both sort of relieved to leave this place. It was very, very impulsive, is all I can say. And I was glad to wake up in the morning.
HENRIQUES
And how did he respond when you woke up the next morning?
MADOFF
I don't know how I felt about him waking up in the morning, I have to be honest there. I thought it would have been easier without him.

Elsewhere, though, she was less harsh on her husband. "My loyalty to Bernie was fostered because I knew him my entire life," Madoff explained. "I mean, I was 13 when I met him; I'm now 70." Loyalty was a theme in the interview: She said that the people who aided and abetted the scheme were motivated by it, rather than greed. Madoff didn't offer much of an explanation beyond that for her decision to stick with Bernie through repeated cheating, and later, through the massive scandal — other than the implicit one that she still loved him.


I really regret not having more conversation with Bernie about his infidelities. I did, you know, address it at some point, and, you know, every time I thought something might have been going on. He denied everything.
MADOFF
And I decided that I wasn't going to get a divorce, I was going to stay married. Did it hurt me, the betrayal? Terribly. Terribly. But I stuck through it. I can't explain that so much either, that, I'm sorry I didn't address.


It was her son Mark's suicide, she says, that truly marked the end of her loyalty to her husband. And the reason she's talking now, she told the Times reporter, is to try to repair ties with son Andrew, who asked her to promote an authorized biography that's now hitting bookstores: "He said it would help me. I have a feeling it won't. But I don't know."

Interview: Ruth Madoff [NYT]
Madoffs Aim to Write Their Own Future [NYT]