NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Poor Bernard Madoff.

First, he was busted for orchestrating a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Then he was jailed for 150 years. And, now it seems that his wife of 52 years, Ruth, is calling it quits, according to a report in the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports: Rebuilding Her Life

According to Madoff biographer Diana Henriques, Ruth, 70, has not visited her husband in prison since the December suicide of their eldest son, Mark.

Henriques, the first reporter to interview Madoff in prison and author of “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust,” appeared on CBS’ “The Early Show” this morning and told host Chris Wragge that Ruth stayed with her husband because, her friends say, she had so much compassion for the schemer.

Bernie Madoff (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

“She fell in love with him when she was 13, married when she was 18,” Henriques said. “It was a 50-year romance, and she simply couldn’t leave him. But for all practical purposes, the Madoff marriage was split apart by that 150-year prison sentence that will keep Madoff behind bars for the rest of his life. So my sense is that Ruth is now focusing all her efforts on rebuilding a relationship with her surviving son, Andrew, and her grandchildren.”

Henriques also told Wragge that, “Bernie wants Ruth to do whatever she must to rebuild her life, even at the expense of their obviously limited time together. He cares very much about her, and I think wants her to have the comfort of her family in the years to come.”

And as far at the Ponzi scheme? Henriques said things may be looking up for the victims.

“It’s a remarkable recovery,” Henriques said. “… The trustee, Irving Picard, is on track to potentially return victims up to 50 cents on the dollar of their out-of-pocket losses. Now, obviously, you can’t rebuild the shattered lives. You can’t recover the homes that were sold and the college educations. But in Ponzi scheme terms, this is a phenomenal recovery, if he only gets 50 cents on the dollar. That was the good news. He landed another billion-dollar out-of-court settlement just a few weeks ago, which was another big gain for him.”

Do you have any sympathy for the Madoff family? Sound Off below 

Comments (120)
  1. bluecollarbytes says:

    After reading accounts of the various Madoffs, I conclude it is possible no one in the family knew Bernie was a thief. There were others who probably did know fraud was going on- those who channeled ‘investments’ into the Madoff kitty.

    Serial killers have been known to fool their families over many years. Why is it so hard to accept the possibility that the Madoff thefts were committed by Bernie and his rich’ associates’ rather than family?


    Time to find a new SUGAR DADDY? PATHETICN LEACH!

  3. Carrie says:

    You people and your need to feel as ‘if’ you know something to feel significant; what a false sense of being you have. That being said most of you are clueless and still have not learned how to spell English words. The only two people here that may possibly get it is steveinberks and Debbie.

    1. American Man says:

      You are criticizing others for spelling errors, when you start your rant with:
      “You people”
      Another clueless judge !!

      1. Carrie is a hottie says:

        Carrie It is so sexy when you act smart.

  4. Jon Bullock says:

    You guys are all focused on Madoff but he is an amateur in comparison to the Ponzi scheme run by our politicians and government.

    If Madoff makes you that mad, why are you heads stuck so deep in the sand over our country’s current financial shape?

    Where is that outrage as it should be 100 fold!?

    1. guest says:

      yep. Obama, Pelosi and Reid make Madoff look like a rank amateur.

  5. Darren says:

    I feel terrible about the son committing suicide.

      1. Debbie says:

        @ Daci..Hopefully for you, your family and children WON’T say the same about you !

    1. david hilton says:

      I don’t

      1. Debbie says:

        @ david..Hopefully for you, your family and children WON’T say the same about you!

  6. Rick says:

    One of her sons is dead by his own hand, and billions of dollars are still unaccounted for. And now she dumps Bernie, and she still claims to have known nothing? The whole family should be in prison because they all profited and they all had to know something wasn’t right.

    1. Pat says:

      She is well aware where all of the monet is so its time to leave. But it cost her a son.

    2. booboobabydoll says:

      They are all crooks. They had to know. Their greed was amazing.

  7. duuley says:

    Doesn’t Bernie get conjugal visits? She wants to dump him because she has all the money she needs for the good life – he’s not making any more money and she’s set for life so good bye bernie.

  8. liwingnut says:

    Big deal….

  9. Debbie says:

    I Understand, I understand her pain.
    She’s hurt to the core, whether she was aware of her husbands’ greed of theft or not. He is now in prison for the rest of his life, she lost her son to suicide and her life has and will never be the same.
    She’s an older woman and the reality of continuing to vist her husband in prison will only age her faster.
    It’s sad, I feel for her tremendously. I know what it’s like to lose your family and feel as the the world has turned against you.
    Her best alternative now is to go on with the rest of her life in a healthy and happy manner.

    1. Jack says:

      Sorry Debbie, you are the only one I feel sympathy towards. How can anyone be so naive as to feel anything for a wife of the most notorious thief in history who was involved in his business is beyond me. I feel sorry you don’t have a grip on the real world. Do you weep for Hitler too?

      1. Debbie says:

        @ Jack..It has absolutely nothing to do with being naive, it has to do with using common sense.
        Jack if you are remotely close to my age you would have learned that this world is CONSUMED with CROOKS. If you perhaps want to gain interest or increase your money by a growing denonmination I suggest..legally placing it in a bank/CD account or to be for sure you won’t lose out place it under your mattress.
        Based on the maturity of their marriage I say there could have been a possibilty that she may have known. Not all couples communicate with HONESTY.
        The woman who killed her neices..herself and others was high on drugs and drunk. According to her husband..”SHE DID NOT USE DRUGS” always have some secrets in a “good trusting relationship”
        As a mother of 3 grown sons my heart was sympathetic for her lose because I know the pain of losing a child, you never heal. No amount of money or life of luxury will bring him back.
        Her husband has been sentenced for his ill gains and now it is time for her to possibly, bow out gracefully.

      2. sanfrd says:

        The biggest thief is in the White House.

      3. DK Lane says:

        You are so correct with your statement! I want to take it a step further, however, to say that the greedy investors are just as guilty.

    2. Valerie says:

      Agree with you Debbie…I think the greed was on those who invested with him…banking on unreasonable gains….Bernie was not the only one greedy…investors were too…

      1. jakee308 says:

        Valerie, you’ve got it partially right.


        They looked the other way as long as the checks kept coming and it looked good on their books.

      2. White Cracker says:

        Valerie, Duh like why would anyone invest w/out wanting to make money???? Do you own a IRA? If so, do you want to make money w/it? Im not saying what Madoff did is right, but damn you invest to make money! Oh, unless you are a Obama supporter, then yes all of us are greedy!

      3. irishpagal says:

        I’m with you Valerie and Debbie, there was a lot of greed to go around. It’s so sad that so many lives have been ruined.

      4. Terry says:

        You are spot on Valerie! The investors took a big chance with 20% returns. You win some you lose some. Our current Government is no different than Madoff, running another ponzi scheme.

      5. david hilton says:

        So what’s wrong with greed?
        Theft is the crime. Being greedy is human and natural.

    3. markflag says:

      Debbie, you just don’t get it. Subtract that the woman is named Madoff. How does any elderly woman whose husband is imprisoned for life (or who is widowed in the more usual way) and whose son committed suicide “go on with the rest of her life in a healthy and happy manner”? Grief, particularly following the death of a child, is lifelong. Healthy? Perhaps. Happy? In a relative sense at best and not synonymous with the way things were before. It is this kind of nonsense advice, generally given in soft breathy tones with many affirmations and positive energy, that nauseates those who live in the real world.

    4. jakee308 says:

      Debbie, SHE WAS INVOLVED IN THE COMPANY. She KNEW what was going on. I don’t care how old someone is or the tragedies THAT THEY BROUGHT ON THEMSELVES, they should pay.

      Bernie took the fall. He took full responsibility for the fraud and the Prosecutors decided to let HER OFF and not prosecute.

      Get real please before you get blindsided by life.

    5. Debbie says:

      @ Gregg..based on the stench of your comment is smells as though you are not only a bitter, angry person, but has been brutally hurt in your life by a woman.
      I suggest you seek therapeutic help so you may go on with your life as well.

    6. White Cracker says:

      Word up Gregg!!!! Yep, she has probably done bangged 10 dudes and a chick by now! F-ing Ho!

  10. I_am says:

    Madoff went to prison because he stole from the rich.

    1. Elvis says:

      Very good point

    2. loganberry says:

      He didn’t only steal from the rich – the guy stole a huge amount of his money from institutional charities. These charities gave him the money to invest,often based upon the recommendations of their large donors, many of whom were rich.
      Many of these charities themselves were devastated, and so were the poor people that they were designed to help. Madoff stole from the rich AND the poor!

  11. makais says:

    makes sense to me

  12. Randolph Phillips says:

    What doe sthis matter. Mrs Madoff is merely a rat swimming off an already sincken ship. No news in tht I’m sue many, many milions were hid away before th fall, and the Madoffs will never be poor again. but they may poor mouth.

  13. IgnoranteElephante says:

    Why is this awaiting moderation? This has been confirmed by the Jewish Newspaper.

  14. Scott says:

    I only have sympathy for the children of Mark Madoff who are now without a father. But at the same time, I hope his death hurts his mother and father as much as possible becuase they are both Sociopath’s.

  15. Deo says:

    She was in on it all the way and should be behind bars herself

  16. There is NO difference between Obama's lies/promises and Bernie Madoff! says:

    Idiot. Goyim is a plural word. Any Hebrew word ending with ‘im’ is plural. I realize you’re trying to be as an offensive S*O*B* as possible and show the world how brainless and ignorant you are, so I’m going to do you a favor and give you the real meaning of the term ‘goy/goi’:

    Often Disparaging.a non-Jewish person; gentile; a nation, a people, non-Jew, or Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion.

    Here’s one more definition for you to use since you insist on showing off your Mensa IQ:

    Shiksa: (female) noun Yiddish: Often Disparaging.
    1.a girl or woman who is not Jewish.
    2.a Jewish girl or woman whose attitudes and behavior are felt to resemble those of a gentile.

    Shegetz: (male) noun Yiddish: Often Disparaging.
    1.a boy or man who is not Jewish.
    2.a Jewish boy or man whose attitudes and behavior are felt to resemble those of a gentile.

    One last thing: Ruth Alpern Madoff is also Jewish.

    Now turn off your Mommy’s computer, it’s time for your nap.

  17. don says:

    What Madoff did pales in comparison to what the government does to the American people on a daily basis. The money he stole is in Isreali banks.

  18. Dufus says:

    Hmmm. Wasn’t he also knocking some knookie on the side? Nothing in the story about his mistress.

  19. the shadow says:

    If they divorce, all of the hidden loot becomes hers, legally.

    1. Tim M says:

      This is not accurate. The money that comes from any hidden accounts will be seized by the Fed and the courts overseeing the restoration of funds. If she tries to hide the money she will be guilty of a felony.

  20. Johnny Handsome says:

    Hank, you are a fool. If Ron Paul was President and he even whispered he wanted to do something that went against the World Leaders of the North American Union, he’s be dead in a week. Anyone who thinks those puppets in Washington actually run the country is blind.

  21. Johnny Handsome says:

    How can one write a pretty lengthy comment and it not be published but another person can write something like – “Kill the witch” and that be published. I guess CBS is run by the same frauds that was keeping tabs on Ol’ Bernie.

  22. Adam Smith says:

    The fools in the government failed to detect this blatant and easily checked fraud but they want more power to micromanage other companies? How does that make sense?

    1. Johnny Handsome says:

      Do you think the IRS can find that you owe $24 in taxes from 5 years ago but didn’t know that Ol’ Bernie was stealing BILLIONS? No, they knew just what he was doing and if it wasn’t for his sons spilling the beans, he might be still doing it. He was making the rich richer. They decided not to look too deep.

      1. Leslie says:

        Hear, hear. (For me it was $38, 2 years ago. An honest mistake. But I had to pay, and not 50 cents on the dollar, either. I had to pay some sort of fine as I remember.)

  23. DM says:

    Madoff is a scape goat. Significant parts of the entire system need to be re-examined.

  24. unt grad says:

    I am not gonna judge her. However I have no sympathy for her. I am in financial services. What he did makes it harder for me to earn an honest living.

  25. Don Williams says:

    Why doesn’t Bernie just buy a pardon off of Obama the way Marc Rich got a pardon from Bill Clinton? Heck, Marc’s enjoying his Impressionists and getting honorary degrees nowdays. (Wiki on him)

    1. Pocho Basura says:

      The fire sale, will begin after the Nov 2012 election.

    2. Sky Pilot says:

      Exactly! And if you do a bit of Googling, you’ll find that Bernie was a very generous soul to various people in the Democratic party, including Barack Obama. Some like Chuck You Schumer supposedly returned the contribution, but many more people didn’t because their names haven’t come up – yet.

      Political contributions corrupt because those that ‘contributed’ (paid off) a particular candidate now wants some goodies and favors in return.

      Think Soros – he invested big in Barry Soetoro and now he’s getting everything he wants.

      1. Johnny Handsome says:

        Hey Sky Pilot: That would go for each and every elected member in the country who got a campaign contribution. If you think this is a problem that only President Obama has then you are clearly a Fox 5 fool. Bush one and two where paid for by the Oil companies. They got the energy bills they wanted – Think Enron. Every Republican has signed some oath not to raise taxes to the determinant for the economy of the United States. How the heck does ONE person get the entire Republican party to sign away the people they represent?

      2. TomB says:

        Johnny, Enron was an oil company? hmmm…. BTW, the Enron thing fell apart in October 2001. Surely you dont think that all of the criminal buildup happened only in the 10 months after Bush’s inauguration? You might not be a “Fox 5 fool,” but you are definitely a fool, and a schill to boot.

      3. White Cracker says:

        Chuck You Shumer is a Jew! Jewish people are the people that Berney took advantage of! I wonder if Chuck You had any money invested w/him????

  26. schwartzer says:

    watch swindling the goyim on YT- both episodes

  27. JIM says:


  28. Jihad Resistance says:

    Say what you want, make cute comments, but REMEMBER your government is doing the exact same thing as Madoff and YOU are letting them do it.

    1. marc says:




      1. Nevermore says:

        LOL! Well said, marc!

    2. adam grant says:

      O come on Mr. Resistance. The governement is only taking money out of our paychecks to pay for our own social security checks sometime in the future. Just becasue they happen to be taking that money right now and paying it back out again to those currently receiving social security doesn’t make it a Ponzi scheme. Does it? Let see, according to the securities and exchange commission a Ponzi scheme is ” an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.”. Well waht do you know folks, Jihad is right. Also nothworht is the SECs answer to the following quesion:

      Why do Ponzi schemes collapse?
      With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue. Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors

      In a few short years there will be more people collecting SS than contribute. That means this Ponzi scheme will fail.

  29. BBReggie says:

    I’m sorry, but when they married she most likely promised to stay with him thru good times and bad. She had 50 years of really good times – she should stay with him until “death do us part”.

    1. Leslie says:

      And run the risk of losing her one remaining son to suicide? She should try to make what she can of what is left of her family. And her son should help her.

  30. citizen x says:

    She had to know, had to have an idea something was up and sorry for her loss but her son knew if he killed himself the feds or anyone else couldnt touch his socked away money, what does she live on? She has money from the scheme hidden surely

  31. McQ says:

    Give the poor woman a break. Bernie probably kept it secret even from her. Is that reason to crucify her – because she married him and had his children? I say let her rebuild her life w/ the time she has left on this earth. Let her be w/ her grandkids. He’s been found guilty, he admitted he ran a long-term scam.

  32. Esther Rodriguez Abreu says:

    What can break up a marriage, is the death of a child. Often when a child dies, whatever underlying issues in the couple’s lives comes to surface. Just perhaps for Ruth, her son’s suicide was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People lost billions, a woman lost her son along the way.

    1. Claudia says:

      I totally agree! She stood by until her child killed himself over it. Whether he was guilty or not, his mother loved him, as good mothers do. This was indeed the straw!

    2. Lynn D says:

      I have to agree.When a guy in my class died as a result of an accident, his parents split up shortly afterwards.

    3. karl anglin says:

      Her son’s death was the final straw for Ruth

  33. Soap says:

    Our government is 10 times worse.! PS I don’t think he gives a hoot what she does. Probably still part of a scheme.

    1. TomB says:

      Soap, the government is more like 1000 as worse. Madoff’s ponzi scheme may have been multi-billion but as soon as the government decided to use all the social security taxes for the general funding of the government, they turned that into a multi-trillion dollar ponzi scheme.

  34. npt says:

    Guess she’s not a Tammy Wynette fan…

    1. pm says:

      more like Tammy Faye Baker

      1. Roger Dowd says:

        Good one, pm!

  35. Jaded Warrior says:

    I smell a reality show here . . .

  36. J Ruben Kincaid says:

    Rats abandon a sinking ship.

  37. The Clintidote says:

    If everyone named Madoff starves to death, I’m ok with it.

  38. GozieBoy says:

    Keep in mind that the main difference in Madoff’s ponzi scheme and that of Obama’s is that he could not print money to keep it going.

    1. ablecynic says:

      Well said!

  39. Jimmy says:

    I don’t feel sorry for the majority of the people involved with Madoff. These investors threw their money at Madoff and kept at it earning a returns that superceded the normal of the times by at least 10%. And they invested almost all of their liquid assets with Madoff which is a no-no; no more than 10% of their investments should be in any one place but they smelled high returns and their greed got the better of them. What the Madoffs have done for the small honest investor is to drive interest rates down to a fraction of 1% and will eventually force the elderly who are no living off their bank interest but rather their hard saved dollars either into bankruptcy or onto the welfare rolls when the bank account reaches zero. But the bankers and Wall Street executives who had red balance sheets and took TARP $ are still collecting thire $20 Million salaries.

    1. steveinberks says:

      It wasn’t the strong returns that made the hedge fund managers interested. (The returns weren’t actually that spectacular, but they were acceptable because of they were “reliable.”) It was the fact that Madoff allowed hedge fund managers (who operated what are referred to as “feeder funds”) to pocket 100% of the management fees. These hedge fund mangers got paid handsomely for no work — that’s what kept them coming back.

  40. D says:

    She can rot in hell too. Yeah right she didn’t know something was cooking. Guess she was married to the only Investment guy in the history of investing who was a genius and not doing something sketchy.

  41. bill burns says:

    Rumuor has it she is banging Mayor Bloomberg.

  42. Peter says:

    poor ruth

    1. The Clintidote says:

      I hope she’s poor now. Dirt poor. Collaborators deserve poverty.

  43. DEWEY says:


    1. D says:

      You are completely forgetting about the thousands of people who did not invest with Madoff directly, but with companies who fell for his scheme. These people lost their retirement, life savings, everything and likely had no idea who Bernie Madoff was.

  44. Got Financial Fraud? says:

    What’s the difference between Bernie Madoff and Benjamin Israel Bernanke? BOTH run PONZI SCHEMES, BOTH defraud people of their savings, yet only ONE of them is actually in jail.

    1. IgnoranteElephante says:

      It is Benjamin Shalom Bernanke, not Israel. The jewishness of both is well noted.

  45. charW says:

    Forgiven. Everyone deserves forgiveness. To not forgive is to imprison oneself.

    1. jimeejohnson says:

      In a world of hate, your comment is well taken.

    2. Mike says:

      Spot on. Hurrah for this great remark. All you can do is forgive and move forward.

    3. Jack says:

      WRONG! No one deserves forgiveness. Forgiveness can only be given by the victim and the perpetrator must ask for it and accept his sin and punishment.

    4. Bruce McClarron says:

      Forgiveness… My A$$!!! I’ll forgive him all the way to the graveyard!!! Madoff was a “GREEDY”, scheming, deceiving, lying SOB!!!

    5. guest says:

      You’re right. Absolutely.

    6. steve says:

      the world financial scheme is nothing but a ponzi fraud. trom the fedral reserve,stock market,derivatives trade and mortgage business to the world bank. lack of ethics,morals,empathy,honesty and a love for truth is not a market madoff cornered. it’s a disease we’re all a victim of without the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts and minds.

    7. Maggie says:

      I agree with charW. To err is human; to forgive, Devine.

  46. Anne Hill says:

    absolutely laughable. she just now thinks he’s not worth it. Oy vey iz mir

  47. Mr. Incredible says:

    Sympathy? None. Absolutely none… for the entire family!

    1. Jay Seibert says:

      I don’t have much sympathy for anyone involved in the case.

      I refuse to believe “investors” were getting that kind of return for decades and were completely unaware that things weren’t on the up and up. They just didn’t want to know and the SEC didn’t seem to care.

  48. Frostie says:

    While the getting was good she didn’t leave.

    1. Mr. Triangle says:

      Interesting observation.

    2. Marie says:

      Frostie, was just thinking the same.

  49. Scott E. Johnson says:

    Here’s someone worse than Madoff. Read then forward this link to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed:

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