Ruth Madoff said in a new interview that she and her disgraced husband Bernie Madoff tried to commit suicide on Christmas Eve after his Ponzi scheme was uncovered.
The couple took handfuls of sleeping pills on December 24, 2008 in their Manhattan penthouse, she told The New York Times.
“We were both so saddened by everything that had happened. It was unthinkable to me: hate mail, phone calls, lawyers,” Ruth Madoff told the paper in a rare interview.
Bernie Madoff was arrested on December 11, 2008, two weeks earlier and released pending trial.
“And I thought, ‘I just can’t, I can’t take this. I don’t know how I’ll ever get through this, nor do I want to,’” she recounted. “So we decided to do it.”
Ruth Madoff’s first television interview will be aired on CBS News’ ‘60 Minutes’ this Sunday, the network said. In an unusual move, the Times, which published an abridged version of its own interview Thursday, said it would publish a more complete version after the show airs Sunday.
Neither Ruth Madoff, who weighed barely 100 pounds, nor her husband knew how many pills to take, she said. The attempt failed and they both woke up safely the next day.
Bernie Madoff, who was pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in a $64 billion Ponzi scheme, admitted considering suicide in an email to the Times.
He is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in Butner, N.C.