June 29th, 2009
05:49 PM ET

Mrs. Madoff – 'I ache over the stories'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/18/madoff.investigation/art.madoff.gi.jpg caption="Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison today."]

Ruth Madoff, wife of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff, issued a statement today after her husband was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

Ruth Madoff

I am breaking my silence now, because my reluctance to speak has been interpreted as indifference or lack of sympathy for the victims of my husband Bernie’s crime, which is exactly the opposite of the truth.

From the moment I learned from my husband that he had committed an enormous fraud, I have had two thoughts – first, that so many people who trusted him would be ruined financially and emotionally, and second, that my life with the man I have known for over 50 years was over. Many of my husband’s investors were my close friends and family. And in the days since December, I have read, with immense pain, the wrenching stories of people whose life savings have evaporated because of his crime.

My husband was the one we (and I include myself) respected and trusted with our lives and our livelihoods, often for many, many years, and who was respected in the securities industry as well. Then there is the other man who stunned us all with his confession and is responsible for this terrible situation in which so many now find themselves. Lives have been upended and futures have been taken away. All those touched by this fraud feel betrayed; disbelieving the nightmare they woke to. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.

In the end, to say that I feel devastated for the many whom my husband has destroyed is truly inadequate. Nothing I can say seems sufficient regarding the daily suffering that all those innocent people are enduring because of my husband. But if it matters to them at all, please know that not a day goes by when I don’t ache over the stories that I have heard and read.

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Honestly, this women is an accomplice. She needs to be prosecuted. At the very least, she should give up the 2.5M she's, so far, been allowed to keep.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  2. Diane O

    She doesn't feel bad enough to give up the 2.5 million does she.

    June 30, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  3. andrew

    Mrs Madoff.....you are incapable of feeling for these people. You probably crap on a million dollar toilet.

    June 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  4. Rick

    There's something wrong with this picture.Where did she hide all that money she took out of the bank just a couple of days before he was arrested. It was a enormous amount of cash that he told her to take out. Like you wouldn't question something like that. Shes a liar. I never did hear if the Feds retrieved that money back or not. Also How much cash did he have hidden some where. For such a smart crook. He was really dumb. I would of disappeared a couple of years earlier. How can she lawfully hold on to anything of value?

    June 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  5. Linda B., Ga.

    Hey Ruth, I hear Mickey D's is hiring....get a job, earn some money the honest way GirlFriend 😀

    June 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  6. Wendy

    I am with most of you; may be widowed, but had some kind of picture of husband. Seems to me you could prove this by assisting in recovering assets for some of these; eg. the 15 million withdrawal? Any discussions such as "Hey Bernie, where'd we get the money for the boat from?? Or visits with the police about how to help (As in his secretary-Vanity Fair"??? AND to top it all of-you are doing 2 about faces; sounds like you will happily be cruising on millions of others money.. instead of visiting and saying, How can we get this back? No way, no how
    does this ring right.. except to get some invites on the circuit...

    June 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  7. Lisa in CA

    Yeah, that life is over ... he's in jail and you're still living in your penthouse. I'm sure you feel bad for all those people your husband conned out of their pensions and retirements ... but it certainly hasn't stopped you from going to the bank or putting your penthouse up for sale to repay just a little to those folks. No, the only life that's over for you is the party circuit.

    June 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  8. Kristen, MD

    This lady must think people are stuck on stupid. If she worked in his office how did she not know what was going on. Yea she is aching for her husbands victims, aching all the way to the bank with her 2.5 million dollars allotted to her.

    If I was one of Bernie Madoff's victims this statement would not comfort me but work my last nerve, this statement was about covering her on behind not heart felt at all.

    June 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    Being his bookkeeper for years does not mean that you would know what was going on – if that were the truth many other Ponzi schemes would have been detected by now; usually they are only caught when they topple. If there needs to be someone to accuse and blister with public opinion save it for the SEC and the other financial regulatory agencies who were TOLD several times about this scheme of Madoff's and ignored it and did nothing They are the ones who fell down on the job.

    June 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  10. Kimberly

    If what you are saying is true Mrs. Madoff, then the best thing you can do is to disclose all assets and where they are located, so that at least a portion of the stolen funds can be repaid to people who now have nothing left for their own retirement years. Many are subjected to abject poverty and suffering in their retirement years due to your husband's crimes.

    I hope for the sake of your own soul, that you are being honest.

    June 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  11. Erika in Los Angeles

    Come on everyone...we have no way to know that she was involved in anything. Her husband's crime is inexcusable and beyond horrific, but it's unfair to go after his her. Even if she was dirt poor walking barefoot on the streets, the situation for all the victims would not change. Lets be grateful that the criminal was caught and ease up on the hate.

    June 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  12. JC- Los Angeles

    To spend one minute on this globe trotting, fraud spending, lavish-living, incomprehensible hack of ages is beyond the pale.

    They should lock her up too.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  13. Gerry

    Unfortunately Madoff is not the only scoundrel out there. There are many more, who are just more clever at it and have not been caught. If you have investments watch them carefully, even the ones we all think are safe. They could disappear at any time in a cloud of smoke.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  14. John

    Madoff received his just rewards today. Now, I am outraged that his wife is able to keep $2.5M. She and her rotten bunch have lived lavishly on ill-gotten gains for decades. Think about the Ivy league education his kids have received and the business contacts that they have benefited from at expensive country clubs and social events. I say they should ALL be tried as co-conspirators under RICO and stripped of all wealth.

    June 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  15. Mimi

    Come on guys, let's be honest. Would you actually give up all your diamonds, furs, cars, and homes? It sounds nice in writing, but when faced with the dilemma, what would you do? What would you actually do? Go easy on her, if you've ever suffered through divorce you know accepting such a change isn't exactly simple. And I'm sure as time goes on all of this will work out. Just don't judge without understanding, as it makes light of arrogance.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  16. Simon

    sometimes this can be the case. I think she really had nothing to do with it. Just a housewife, who spent the money.
    She figured her husband was successful. How many other couples can honestly say that they know exactly what their spouse does on a day in and day out basis. I mean the details...not just their job.
    She is naive at best I think.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  17. Danielle

    Mrs. Made-off now you ache? Gag me, u weren't aching when u were spendin their $$$. Sorry u have 2 live on $125K a yr,not.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Gloria

    Mrs. Madoff is a joke. She aches over what people lost. Wrong, she aches because she can no longer look people in the eyes without guilt. She knew exactly what her husband was doing. I live very closely to a carpenters union hall and I know all the Carpenters in the Syracuse Area were affected. My grandfather was a carpenter, he built the frame and created a home for someone, a business for another and it was with his sweat that bult Syracuse to what it is today. The Madoff's have taken from hard working people because of greed. I hope she continues to toss and turn throughout the night of endless sleepless nights. Her husband will pace the 4×6 room is now his home. He got his.....

    June 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  19. Wendy Seinturier

    It must be the same shock that someone has when the find out that their husband is a mass murderer or paedophoile. How could I have lived with a man like that.
    We can hate her, but she is not the one to blame, he is.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  20. William Wright

    Mr. Madoff stole billions from investors but where was the oversite. How much money did they make allowing him to rob his investors? The IRS should investigate all who allowed Madoff to continue this scheme for so many years and Investigate their income and off shore bank accounts.
    It is time for a third peaseful revolution against the corporate salaries which fuel the purchasing of elections and corrupt public officials.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Carol B. in MD

    It's a bit late for the crocodile tears you shed on piles of fur, gems and cash. How unfair for all those that your husband bilked. If you really feel that bad, why don't you really tell 'em what they want to know – Where's the loot?

    June 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  22. Diane W.

    The only person you ache for is yourself and the life you 'use' to live. Please, just go away. YOU are just as guilty as your husband!

    June 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  23. Shayna

    I would love to think she's being sincere, but find it pretty hard believe she had no idea for all these years what was going on. Actions speak louder than words. If she's so sorry, maybe she'd like to share some of her money with the people her husband left penniless.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  24. robyn

    Really?...She aches. I hope it is not too painful an ache with her remaining millions...she is as culpable and should be made to forfeit her fortune as it is ill-gotten gain and now blood money. Her letter of remorse for her husband's behavior does not mention that she lived on all of these people's money for the many many years nor does it mention that she was in charge of the books for him for many of those years...? What a slithering snake in the grass!

    June 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  25. Jean


    June 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  26. Vince

    Stupid. It was reported she withdrew $15 millions dollars the day BEFORE he was reported and/or arrested. Not even counting the items she supposedly sent to relatives and friends after his arrest. And that she was his book keeper for a number of years.

    June 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  27. Alex

    In the 80's my grandfather (RIP) retired as an accounting executive when the company he worked for in Latin America filed bankruptcy. His pension was untouched but 90% of its employees lost all their retirement. He created a fund called “the non-pensioned” and gave these families his entire pension.
    Today Mrs. Madoff tell us she’s sorry but at the same time kept millions which belong to robbed charities and families which suicides have resulted from people left pennyless. She should give back every cent she withdrew from the bank after she found out about the fraud scheme. Unfortunately she mirrors a saying we have in South America “Tell me who you sleep with and I’ll tell you what you are”...(meaning husband and wife).

    Cartagena, Colombia

    June 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  28. Trav

    Boo Hoo....I can only hope that her diamonds, furs, cars, and homes can comfort her during this ordeal. If the woman cared for her soul she would surrender her ill gotten treasures.

    June 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  29. Presley

    Ache away Mrs. Madoff, how much ca$h do get you keep again???
    You are right on one thing, nothing you ever say will be adequate.

    pffft, Please.

    June 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  30. Cindy

    O..this is really a joke! Who in their right mind believes that Madoff's wife had no clue as to what was going on!? PLEASE! She knew just as much as the others who worked with him. Come on...no one is that gullible.

    She hurts so much for these people that he stole from yet she's sitting pretty in that New York penthouse and living the high life still while these people he bilked of their life savings are barely making it. I'm sure she really cares for them!! What a joke! Shes just trying to distance herself from her husband so they won't take her house, car, money and what not away from her.


    June 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm |