The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Madoff family tells their side

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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FILE - In this April 6, 2009 file photo, Ruth Madoff is escorted by private security as she leaves the Metropolitan Correctional Center after visiting her husband, disgraced financier Bernard Madoff , in New York. Ruth Madoff and her son Andrew will speak publicly for the first time about Bernie Madoff on "60 minutes" airing Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7pm ET/PT. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Members of the family of imprisoned investor Bernard Madoff have been making headlines this week as they court media attention for their new biographies. In the first interview she's given since publishing her new memoir, "The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life." Stephanie Madoff Mack joined Madeleine Friday to discuss her experiences and those of her former husband.

Mark Madoff was the son of Bernie Madoff, the now infamous puppet-master of the Ponzi Scheme that's estimated to have cost investors somewhere around $13 billion.

When Mark called his wife on the eve of the scandal, his voice was shaking. "I need you to get everyone out of the apartment immediately, I need to come home and tell you something," he said.

That 2009 phone call was first, Mack says, she heard of the scandal that was about to consume her life.

"[Mark] came home and he said his father had done something very bad that might even crash the stock market," Mack told Madeline.

At the time, Mack said, she didn't realize the enormity of call, but her memoir outlines her family's fall from grace, her husband's suicide and what she says was she and her husband's commitment to "do the right thing."

"My husband and his brother knew nothing, ran a completely separate legitimate business on a totally different floor; he knew nothing." Mack told Brand.

"He had built a business legitimate and legal, so when my husband walked through that door that day he was so betrayed and so angry and in such shock. My husband and his brother knew nothing."

It was that betrayal that haunted Mark and prompted his first unsuccessful suicide attempt, Mack said. Mack said her husband "spent a week in a psychiatric hospital" afterwards, and "was very ashamed about what he had done. He felt stupid for what he had tried to do," she said.

In the months that followed, Mark Madoff made a recovery, got a job he loved and attended therapy. Things seemed to be improving for her family that had distanced themselves from Bernie and Ruth Madoff and the ensuing scandal.

"He and I were in a better place," said Mack, "we had decide then that this situation that bernie had caused us to be in, it just wasn't going to ruin our lives anymore."

Then things took a turn for the worse. Mack's 4-year-old daughter was sued for $11,000 Bernie and Ruth Madoff had gifted her and the media reached a frenzy. He "fell down that same rabbit hole again," said Mack. She said she could see that the headlines and lawsuits were taking a toll on him. Then, during a December trip to Disney World to celebrate her daughter's birthday her husband hanged himself.

"I don't know what went on in his mind that night," she told Brand choking back tears. "I don't know what he was thinking. I just think he, he just snapped. He just snapped and he just thought that we would be better off without him; and we are not, at all. "

Despite the roller coaster scandal Mack says her children give her hope that the future will be better, as for forgiving her father-in-law she had this to say: "No, i will never forgive Bernie Madoff. I will never forgive him."

Ruth Madoff, Bernie's wife, is expected to share her story on a 60 Minutes special on Sunday, in which she claims she and Bernie tried to commit suicide in the wake of public outrage over their scandal.


Stephanie Madoff Mack, widow of Mark Madoff, Bernard "Bernie" Madoff's son who committed suicide last December. Mack's father-in-law Bernie Madoff orchestrated the largest investor fraud in history, stealing billions of dollars.

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