In a likely attempt to distance herself from the biggest fraud scheme in U.S. history and restore her broken family, Ruth Madoff, the wife of the infamous Bernie Madoff, has reportedly decided to move on with her life and split from her ponzi-scheme husband.
The spilt seems to come following the suicide of the couple's eldest son Mark last December. It was reported that following Mark’s death, Ruth was turned away from attending the funeral by Mark’s widow and at that point the former millionaire’s wife stopped making routine visits to her husband in jail.
Mark, a former executive at the Madoff firm, committed suicide on the two-year anniversary of his father’s arrest. He hung himself in his Manhattan apartment shadowing anxiety over looming lawsuits, death threats, media speculation on his role in the scheme, and difficulty securing employment after the news of his father’s scheme made worldwide headlines.
He deemed himself “unemployable.”
Ten years prior to his death, Mark told Wall Street and Technology journal of the Madoff firm, “What makes it fun for all of us is to walk into the office in the morning and see the rest of your family sitting there. That’s a good feeling to have.”
Since Madoff’s arrest, neither of the two sons had been in contact with either of their parents. The sons abstained from their mother due to her unrelenting loyalty to their criminal father.
Since Madoff's arrest, the former millionaire’s wife has been living a solo low-key life in the south of Florida.
The fact that Ruth has not left Mr. Madoff until now speaks to the deep connection and history the couple had together.
Ruth and Bernie had been married for 52 years, and were high school sweethearts. They both grew up in the same Queens community and eventually worked together to build the Madoff investment empire.
Psychologists and experts suggest that Mrs. Madoff could have easily been persuaded that her husband’s business was legitimate.
One such expert, Stephen Greenspan, author of “Annals of Gullibility,” told the New York Times back in 2009 of the scheme, “Unless Madoff told her, why would she have any suspicion?”
He also added that in order to be able to able to recognize such a scheme one would need to study the books profusely to determine that they were cooked.
The seemingly unrelenting loyalty of Ruth to Bernie is something that has been witnessed in other large-scale scandals seen around the world.
Some prominent examples include Patricia Nixon, wife of former ousted president Richard Nixon, Anne Sinclair, loyal wife of husband Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and Slida Sptizer the loyal wife of former New York City mayor, Elliot Sptizer.
Nevertheless, it seems as though Ruth’s loyalty towards Mr. Madoff can only go so deep with so many tragedies plaguing the family. With the loss of one son and estrangement from another, Ruth may be ready to move forward and patch up what is left of her shattered life.