In the only interview Ruth Madoff has given since the affair broke out, she said, "I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening… We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said '...I just can't go on anymore.'"
Ruth told Morley Safer that she and Bernard took some pills, some of them Ambien and possibly some Klonopin. "I took what we had, he took more," says Ruth. The fact that it was Christmas Eve, says Ruth, "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 says.
However, Ruth had given the idea some thought, sending a package to their son Andrew before making the suicide pact. The package included sentimental items, including jewelry.
Three years later, Andrew asked his mother why she had sent him the jewelry. "And she told me that she and my father had planned to kill themselves...they put that package together beforehand and sent it out," he tells Safer.
The full interview will be aired on Oct. 30.
In December 2010, Mark Madoff, the Madoffs eldest son, committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.
The 46-year-old Madoff, who had worked at his father's firm, "succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo," his lawyer said. He was found dead in his apartment in the city's SoHo neighborhood, New York City police spokesman Paul Browne said.
"Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy," Martin Flumenbaum, a lawyer for Mark Madoff and his younger brother, Andrew, said in a statement. He said "Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime."
Bernard Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after confessing to running a decades-long Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of billions, considered the biggest financial fraud in history.
Reuters contributed to the report
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop