‘Bernard And I Attempted Suicide,’ Ruth Madoff Tells ’60 Minutes’

Author Of Book On Disgraced Financier Not Buying What She's Selling

(CBS News/CBSNewYork)Ruth Madoff makes some startling admissions in a “60 Minutes” interview airing this Sunday.

In the only interview Madoff has given regarding her husband’s crimes, Ruth told Morley Safer she and Bernard were so distraught over the burden of his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, that they attempted suicide together.

“I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening,” Madoff told Safer. “We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said ‘…I just can’t go on anymore.'”

In an excerpt from the interview that aired Wednesday night on the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” Ruth said she and Bernard took a bunch of pills, some of them Ambien and possibly some Klonopin. She did not drink alcohol with them for fear of vomiting.

“I took what we had, he took more,” said Ruth. “It was Christmas Eve, that added to the whole depression.”

But the pills didn’t work.

“We took pills and woke up the next day….It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up,” she said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Andrew Kirtzman, a former political reporter for CBS 2 and the author of the bestseller “The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff,” told CBS 2’s Lou Young on Wednesday night he thinks he knows why Ruth Madoff is suddenly breaking her silence.

“Ruth is asking people just to take her word for it because there’s no evidence they tried to kill themselves and this is the first time that anyone has even suggested it,” Kirtzman said.

Bernie Madoff, himself, reportedly told New York Magazine earlier this year that he never considered suicide. But Ruth said that’s why they mailed envelopes full of expensive jewelry to members of their family.

“The feds felt that was just a bald attempt to get rid of the last vestiges of what they had made illicitly and was just going to their cronies and to their family members,” Kirtzman said.

A recipient of one of the Madoff goodie bags recalled the conversation he had with his mother about the strange delivery three years after the fact.

“She told me that she and my father planned to kill themselves and sent me that package before hand,” Andrew Madoff said.

“It seems like she’s stabilized her life and now she’s going on a PR offensive to convince the public that she’s not a devil,” Kirtzman said.

See the full story on”60 Minutes,” Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Sunday’s story will also contain previously undisclosed revelations about the family in the aftermath of the scandal.

Share your thoughts on this story below …

  • money


    • Rod Richardson


    • bernie madoff is god

      yes, bernie only ripped off other crooks.

      nobody poor got ripped off—they were too poor to get involved with rich boy bernie.

  • DRV

    They should’ve tried harder ( if at first you don’t succeed…….. )

    • CT Native


  • Anthony

    Did she get paid for the interview? 60 Minutes was a respected program but they are shooting low now. All for ratings they gave this narcissist air time? For ratings? Unbelievable. So Corporate America got robbed and now Corporate America is making some money through the millions who will tune it just to see this pittiful demon cry about how the two Ambiens she didn’t take nearly made her vomit? Reality TV show next? She’s desperate for a shot at making something out of her downfall and she knows she can do it. It’s either that or go to welfare. I guess if I were her I would chose the crockadile tear jerk.
    Peace & Respect to all good Americans that are still hanging on.

  • Jerry Frey

    Accountants who can steal money and college presidents who deal the cheese to their families and friends, these people are the connected class. Overpaid athletes, Carl Crawford ($142 million – 7 years; .255 ba, 11 hr), Jayson Werth ($127 million – 7 years; .232 ba, 20 hr), and Adam Dunn (56 million – 4 years; 159 ba, 11 hr), these people belong to the connected class. My favorite story concerns Charlie Weis, former head coach at Notre Dame, who failed to resurrect Lou Holtz glory and was paid millions to go away. And of course: Albert Haynesworth “made almost $35 million in just 20 games for Washington.”


  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • Desiree

    How much did she just spend on her new facelift and pay her hair colorist and stylist?

    • NYC

      I was wondering the same thing…who’s money did she used for that?

      • Anthony

        60 minutes fronted her as part of the deal to show up for interview….this all mega bucks for CBS and Prissy Madoff

  • Mike

    Mmmmm. Well, we can dismiss this attempt at trying to look like the victim. Truth be told, she might be reasonably honest (please underline reasonably) but Bernie Boy is a 100% sociopath. If he suggested “taking pills”, chances are Bernie Boy would have “palmed” his pills and let her die, then tell the Feds the Ponzi Scheme was her idea,The son who topped himself seemed pretty destroyed by Bernie Boy’s action BUT he was handed a nice chunk of the fraud and how he couldn’t figure out how Bernie Boy was making money defies belief. Nope…Bernie was the leader of the band of thieves but the whole Madoff clan were not without sin. However, they are no different from a whole bunch of crooks and thieves on Wall Street. They are just smarter at the con game.

  • Julius Vernon

    It’s too bad the suicide attempt didn’t work. Rid the world of some more filth.

  • Sammie Jo

    seriously? She didn’t drink alcohol because she was afraid of vomiting? lmao
    And she can’t remember whose idea it was? Really? I’m pretty sure I’d remember that little fact.
    She knew what he was doing all along, maybe the sons too.
    Cry me a river, she’s broke and she’s probably still living better than most of us.
    Rich people think they’re broke when they’re down to their last million.

  • Arlene

    I saw the daughter in law with the book on the view. What a disgusting show. Feeling sorry for this exhibitionist? she is probably hoping for a tv show using this disaster to get a little face time. This is not resilience this is good old fashioned
    As for the Mother and Father a good way for the state to save money is arrest people like this and instead of jail time – tattoo the word GREED across their PLASTIC SURGERY FACE let them show that off! Would be cheaper!

  • Sara Cofresi

    Real Blond or fake blond? No difference to me…they raped people of their wealth! Pathetic simpering to garner support! Does not pass the sniff test!

  • now

    All the investors should be allowed to line up and punch her in the face

    • Irv

      She is begging to get slapped across that dog face- snippy obnoxious vile thief! You can only imagine the ROYAL MADOFFs in their heyday!!! What a kisser she has yep shes totally begging for it.

  • Climp Jones

    Sounds to me like Bernie tried to get her to off herself so he could blame everything on her

  • Josh and Amy

    The sons went to Wharton were not “boys” they were seasoned in stealing MEN!
    The mother and father were inseparable I know the type- when the guy can’t afford or find the money for the vacation or fur or jewels or 4th house women like this issue an edict and simply cross their runty arms and scream in a low voice
    ” FIND IT” and usually the guy does and the woman proclaims she has a target on her back while she climbs the ladder on every one elses back. They talk about the sons like they were 7 years old. And the lawyer compliance officer who signed off on everything isnt in jail? hasnt lost her license – are you kidding now this pathetic theater starring this “tortured victim” She had an entire life of yachts servants furs jewels etc she never earned they were stolen from everyone. Guess what she is looked at as she is a master criminal. Stealing from Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust can you believe these sick people. How many cars does this witch need that she has to do that. JAIL IS TOO GOOD FOR ALL THE MADOFFS… SHE WILL NEED MORE THAN PR TO GET PAST THE PUBLIC!!

    • Climp Jones

      Achtung! Another chapter awaiting editing for the updated Mein Kough!

  • Kevin Luss

    she wanted to kill herself but she didn’t drink liquor for fear of vomiting? i’m going to have to call shenanigans on this one.

    • jeff milligan

      Absolutely right, Kevin. Gimme a break. She had no fear of dying, just the fear of vomiting???? Don’t know whose idea it was or how many Ambiens they needed to take? Take 3 of these psuedo pills and you may or may not get a night’s sleep.

      • Anthony Pepe

        um, if you vomit, the pills will come up and the effects (or desired suicide) would not occur.

        • Huh

          Using a bullet would have solved that problem quickly

  • mike rowarray

    At lest someone in your family got it right Ruthie! Just do what your son did and we’ll all move on. No tears will be shed.

  • Carly Rothman

    sounds like the very wealthy have hired a family PR agency to create books, explain on their terms, to save the name. 60 minutes handing these people softballs while generations of families are destroyed might make good theater but she and the rest of her well heeled clan ought to be thrown in the kllink! Obviously they have the goods on too many law firms or they would ALL have gone to prison!

    • Steven Jobs

      The so-called VICTIMS of Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme have no-one but themselves to blame. When Madoff’s fund is giving you an 80+% return when your local bank is paying under 1% on a CD, you have to know something is up. The only people who may have a claim are the people who were in the Feeder Funds, who had no idea their principal was with Madoff. That’s why I prefer the safety of real, large Mutual Funds like Fidelity and Dreyfus, and not with personal money managers. Those personal money managers had no interest in their clients and only in the million dollar fees Madoff paid for new deposits.

  • Joe Doakes

    Shame they weren’t successful.

  • Huh

    So they didn’t want to kill themselves from the guilt…only because of all the hate mail….LMAO!!

  • RepublicanCapitalist

    Boo hoo! I wonder how many others have attempted and succeeded in killing themselves because of financial disaster…due to yours and your husbands selfishness! Many others live with much less than you and are happy! Too bad you didn’t use a bullet!

  • phnx

    This is complete BS. I know a boat broker who she called to fire sale the yachts, just as the Feds were closing in. He refused to get involved and two weeks later the Feds confiscated the yachts. These and many other assets were sold at auction, the proceeds going to the victims and their lawyers.

    • CaryFishman

      But Ruthie didn’t know she thought the money was pouring in from the heavens!! YEAH RIGHT!! The real question is why is the brother, his daughter, Ruthie and the other son not in prison for life. Despicable unfair system that allows these people to be free and untouched!

  • Huh

    Doing it on Christmas Eve made it more depressing?…Aren’t they Jewish??…LMAO!!

    • Michele

      Don’t see this as Anti-Semitic comment. Had similar thought too when I read the article. The Madoffs don’t celebrate Christmas as they are Jewish, so why the fact that it was Christmas was it more depressing for them?

      Oh & as I am half-Jewish, I am not Anti-Semetic.

      • justpassinthru

        I agree. It makes the story sound even more contrived. Why was Christmas Eve so extra depressing for them? So they try to off themselves and instead wake up Christmas Day ,,, wow, what a friggin’ “Christmas Miracle!” (eyeroll)
        Did they then go to the movies like the rest of the Jews do on Christmas Day?
        Sounds as fake as their investment returns….
        Meh…but maybe it’s real in her warped mind

    • Putz

      Oh here we go with the anti-semitism……..just kidding— there is some group that does that to any comment like that typically.

      • Huh

        Well its kind of like me attempting to commit suicide on Yom Kippur being a Christian…why would it be a depressing time?…Its not anti-semitism at all…its an observation…

      • An observation

        Jews are the chosen people, look at how brilliant they are, sadly, I can’t help but state that the spritual vacuum Jews have(50% are atheist)is due to rejecting Christ who rose from their ranks. If you are not following Him, and he is your own flesh and blood, there is no religion or savior that will satisfy you.

        • Climp Jones

          what makes you so sure Jesus was a jew?

          • Huh

            Doesn’t it say so in the bible?

      • Climp Jones

        Seig Heil!

  • tim

    Maybe you can ask some of your paid help to help. I’m sure they’d be glad to.

  • phnx

    If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

  • tim

    I wish I would have gotten wind of this sooner. I would have wished them success.

  • snapperboy

    Evidently as bad at committing suicide as investing –

  • NC

    There is a veil we all must pass through that blocks the passage of possesions-i look forward to being free as a bird -thank God

  • All of America

    You know what they say, Ruthie. “Practice makes perfect”!

  • Mort Steinmetz

    I wish she had succeeded!

  • Timmy

    “I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening”

    “I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what WE HAD DONE.”


  • the Dude

    Just a p.o.s.

  • What a Runt

    Too bad you failed. Swim out into the ocean as far as you can, or eat a bullet you runt.

  • Count Yob

    I won’t watch it because it infuriates me how CBS and the rest of the corporate media have dropped the ball on investigative reporting on Madoff, his associates and the rest of the vast web of organized financial crime which goes far beyond Madoff’s ponzi scheme and has led to the looting of national treasuries and debasement of national currencies. I don’t care to see Morley Safer commisserating with poor Mrs. Madoff instead of doing real investigative reporting.

    • Noahfingwhey

      You’re being kind of hard on 0bama aren’t you ?

  • V Kint

    Sympathy ploy…

  • The Big ?

    Try a bigger gun, and hold it closer to your head, so you don’t miss.

  • Pendit1

    Boo freakin’ hoo! I don’t feel sorry for her at all.

  • alan

    It would have been better had both of them killed themselves. She has a couple of million and Bernie likens prison to a college campus. Oy Vey

  • Paul

    Ruthie, you lazy_stupid_bitch. You should try harder next time. If you need some help, I can hook you up.

  • Sau Sage Fingerz

    if at first you don’t succeed…?

    • RufusVonDufus

      I think Bernie’s daughter-in-law best described him the other day in words that only pure disgust could understand. He was a p r i c k and it is too bad he did not succeed. It would have save the taxpayer some money. I hope his wife suffers as much as his victims do.

  • tsiok

    Sure… they suffered so! We should feel bad for them now? What a jerk.

  • sanfranfriscan

    Did they try choking on a roll of quarters?

  • MadCharles

    Cowards don’t commit suicide they attempt suicide.
    Look at all the baby boomer cowards still around that hid out in colleges and Canada from the draft while protesting classmates like me plucked off main street only to find themselves in Vietnam combat six months later.

    • Bast Hotep

      What was the matter with you? Too cowardly to protest an unjust war, so you took the easy way out by going to fight it?

      It takes more courage than you think to leave your country when you know it’s doing wrong.

      • MadCharles

        I could believe your reply is for real. I’d hope it isn’t as the protesters knew about as much of what was happening in Vietnam as they know why their protesting in the streets.

  • ronmer

    Sure, sure…..this is the same woman who begged deputies to let her take “her” prized fur coat before she was removed from “her” NY mansion…..

  • Tommy

    If Bernie had half a teste he would have offed himself with a rope or a gun not ambien ….what a soft Long Island wimp

    • Buck Ofama


      Remember the jingle?

      “Take Sominex tonight and sleeo…

      …safe and restful sleep, sleep sleep.”

      A handful of Sominex would have shown that ruth and bernie were really serious

  • EC

    so distraught over the burden of his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme . . .Give me a break. How distraught do you think the victims of his ponzi scheme are having to go back to work in their old age or having to start over completely from scratch? Do you ever think of the victims or is it all about poor old you and theburden you must bear? . You sit there and act like people should care you tried to kill yourself instead of sitting htere and saying this is where we hid the money. What a b*****!!!!!

  • samzydeco

    She knew. The sons knew. I can believe the daughter-in-laws were in the dark and of course the grandkids are innocent.
    Bernie and Ruth and the remaining son don’t deserve a good nights sleep for the rest of their lives.

  • Bob

    She was trying to hide jewelry when they where caught,this is the act of a greedy person,not an innocent person.

  • Butch Blosc

    She and her family should tell the people they robbed where the rest of their money is — then kill themselves.

  • Bob

    Are we suppose to feel bad for her and her family. I don’t think so.I believe they all got what they deserve. Look at what they did to familys all over this country.

  • allison

    Oh Boo Hoo, you are a criminal, so much so your son…. you know.

    • jasperddbgghost

      Seriously, someone with no money has the cojones to finish the job. This gold digging wench and her idiot husband never even considered it. She’s just looking for pity. Wallow in your gluttony, saddlebags.

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