Wife leaves fraudster Bernie Madoff

Aug. 15, 2011 at 8:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The wife of a convicted multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme operator Bernie Madoff has left him in an attempt to put her life back together, his biographer said.

Ruth Madoff, whose husband was sentenced to 150 years in prison for the Ponzi scheme, is looking to reconcile her relationship with her remaining son, Andrew, and grandchildren, CBS News reported.

She has not visited her husband since the December suicide of their son Mark.

Mark Madoff and his brother Andrew gave their mother an ultimatum when their father's fraud was exposed -- choose her husband or her children -- the report said. Diana Henriques, Bernie Madoff's biographer, says Ruth Madoff originally sided with her husband.

"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."

Bernie Madoff seems to want his wife to move on, Henriques said.

"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," she said.

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