Ruth Madoff once lived in the life of luxury, with her husband’s Ponzi scheme providing her with mansions, incredible clothes, vacation homes, cars, and more. They were once one of the top couples of New York City. Now, 9 years after Bernie Madoff’s arrest, his wife is talking to the media again.
With everything she once knew gone, Ruth Madoff is now living in a small condo in the 6,100-person town of Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
Everyone in the small town does know Ruth Madoff, and what happened to her, but they rarely talk about it. Neighbors say that she mainly keeps to herself, and spends her time alone, often taking long walks.
The Daily Mail reports:
She has, however, had at least one famous visitor: Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Ruth in The Wizard of Lies, spent time in Madoff’s wife’s kitchen and studied her to prepare for the role.
Director Barry Levinson told Page Six that Pfeiffer ‘spent a little time’ with Ruth as she prepared for her role.
‘I don’t think it would be appropriate to say she “cooperated” with the film,’ he said of Ruth. ‘Michelle simply spent a little time talking to Ruth.
‘I don’t think Michelle talked much about the script. It was simply to get to know her – however brief the time spent.’
Meanwhile, Levinson and Robert De Niro, who is playing Madoff in the film, never got a chance to meet the banker.
In Old Greenwich, Ruth gets her hair done at a local salon, walks to a local bagel shop every day and has even joined a local Pilates studio since settling in her more than $3,000-a-month townhouse two years ago, according to the New York Post.
Her gated community features a heated swimming pool, squash courts, a gym and security.
It’s unclear how Ruth continues to fund her life in the New England town, where private three-class packages for Pilates cost $255 and the local salon charges between $175 and $200 for highlights.
Ruth lost everything in the years following her husband’s 150-year prison sentence.
The couple’s eldest son, Mark, committed suicide in 2010. Their younger son, Andrew, died of cancer in 2014.
In an agreement with the US Attorney’s office while relinquishing claim to $80million in assets she was allowed to keep $2.5million. Most of that is thought to have gone on legal fees.
The sale of the four homes and all their contents realized over almost $70million.
ewelry worth over $2.5million was also sold, while a pair of boxer shorts owned by the swindler were among hundreds of smaller items put up for sale.
Shunned by family and friends, and once described as the most hated woman in New York, Ruth deliberately avoided any controversy to avoid provoking the anger of her husband’s many victims.
Many claimed she must have known about her husband’s fraud and her silence in the weeks after his arrest added to the feeling that she was somehow complicit.
But she was never charged and maintained her innocence – while supporting her husband by raising his $10million bail money with his brother Peter.