Ruth Madoff: Will she divorce Bernie? (Updated 12/15/10)

Will Ruth Madoff divorce Bernie now that Mark has committed suicide? (This article was originally published on December 26, 2008 however in light of the recent suicide of Mark Madoff, I’ve decided to republish it. I’ve added some new thoughts at the end of the article about whether Ruth will now seek a divorce from Bernie Madoff):

ORIGINAL VERSION:Ruth Madoff, wife of Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind behind one of the biggest ponzi schemes that has been dubbed the “biggest securities fraud in Wall Street history” is so far sticking by her man and has not sought to divorce him. He and she are shacked up in their Upper East Side penthouse, while he endures “house arrest” pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. Her man is definitely down for the count. The FBI is more than just calling ( They have come and taken him away in hand cuffs. Ruth must be doing some serious soul searching now.

Their children Mark and Andrew are reportedly so disgusted with both Ruth and Bernie, they have not attempted any communications with their parents. That seems very bizarre to me, to tell you the truth. It seems artificial. Kids who are that close to their parents like Mark and Andrew Madoff don’t just completely cut them off like this. Family is family and when the chips are down, you stick by your family no matter what. Sure Bernard Madoff did a terrible thing. But these are his kids and the way they’ve just turned their backs on their parents so abruptly is very very weird and is giving me pause.
Could Ruth do the same? Could she up and abandon her husband when he needs her the most? She wouldn’t be the first wife to abandon a husband in his darkest hour. But would she do it? Would she do what her kids have done? Will she seek a divorce?

I don’t want to sound like I am condoning what Bernard did, but you know what? He is suffering big time, knowing what he did and what he is facing. And he’s old, 70 years old. He should be shown some mercy. I think his family, but certainly his wife, should be merciful to this man. The rest of the world hate him viciously and all that hate more than outweighs any love they could give or show to him.

If I were Ruth, I would pretend I am the wife of a politician. (Read our post “How to divorce a politician” here: And I would stick by my man till the bitter end. Because. I would do it just because.

UPDATE: Well, now that her eldest son has committed suicide, Ruth Madoff is rumored to be very angry with her husband Bernie Madoff. Press reports are that she is calling him a SOB, and she blames him for Mark’s death. Many, justifiably, are calling the Madoff story “Shakespearean” in terms of how tragic the whole thing is, at this point, and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of it. I think there will be a couple more tragic twists before this whole saga becomes Twenty-first Century myth. At this point, I would not at all be surprised by a divorce filing by Ruth Madoff against her husband Bernie Madoff. She certainly has grounds at this point, even though she technically doesn’t need to prove grounds in any state in America right now. But incarceration for 150 years is more than sufficient basis for a divorce anywhere you look probably in the whole world.

But beyond just the incarceration, Bernie has really taken everything he’s ever given to Ruth from her. And now, he’s taken her son. Don’t know her but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark was her favorite son. Bernie took even that. He took her name, reputation, jewelry, homes, friends, relationships, family, EVERYTHING, and now her son. Why would she continue to hang on to this marriage? This is actually an opportunity for her to break free from the shame and the curse. With Mark’s suicide, more is coming out about how fractured the family is so the public can rethink this idea that they are one bloc. This is the chance they all have to publicly turn on this man and differentiate themselves from him and his infamy, and maybe get a second chance with the public. It sure seems that Mark despised his father for what he did and his suicide definitely quiets (at least temporarily) the notion that they were “all in it together” doesn’t it? This is the perfect time for Ruth to file for divorce, I think. And who knows? She is living near Palm Beach in Florida. She could still find a wealthy old man to shack up with and live out the rest of her days. I would strongly advice a divorce for Ruth Madoff at this point. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose….She can even write a book about the whole thing (divorce, suicide, ponzi scheme) and hope that Picard doesn’t go after the profits. Which I doubt he can, since Ruth was never convicted of any crime. That’s what she needs to do. Divorce Bernie and pen her memoirs. It will be one hot commodity, I tell ya.