Swindler Bernie Madoff and his wife tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills on Christmas Eve 2008, two weeks after his $65 billion Ponzi scheme was exposed, his wife has revealed.
Ruth Madoff, 70, told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that she and her husband took Ambien, a sleeping pill, and Klonopin, an anti-anxiety pill, in their suicide attempt after facing unending harassment.
“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 the TV newsmagazine in her first interview made public Wednesday.
“We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said ... ‘I just can't go on anymore,’” she said in the interview to be aired Sunday. “We took pills and woke up the next day. ... It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up.”
Madoff, 73, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after confessing to the biggest financial fraud in history, bilking investors out of billions of dollars over the course of decades. He was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008.
Before the suicide attempt the couple sent a package of sentimental items, including jewelry, to their younger son Andrew, breaching a court order. Three years later Andrew asked his mother why she had sent the package.
“She told me that she and my father had planned to kill themselves,” Andrew Madoff told "60 Minutes.”
The couple’s elder son Mark, 46, hanged himself in his New York apartment last Dec. 11, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. Mark and Andrew Madoff turned in their father to authorities a day after he confessed to them.
The investors Madoff ripped off over the years have viewed his sons, wife and other family members suspiciously, saying there’s no way the family didn’t know about the scam.
Still, no family members have been criminally charged, and they all deny knowing about the con.