Bernie Madoff has been called the most hated man in America, and at 73 years old he will spend the rest of his life in a North Carolina prison after he stole $60 billion. Earlier this month, Ponzi convict Bernard Madoff spoke to Barbara Walters about his life in prison and how he finally feels safe, and Wednesday night an interview with wife, Ruth Madoff also appeared on ABC News. Madoff said that this is the first time in a long time that he is not worried about being arrested. He also said that he had to let go of his wife and he encouraged her to do the same.
Madoff said: “Not seeing my family and knowing they hate me” is one of the worst things about spending his life in prison. “I betrayed them.”
The two-hour interview with Barbara Walters took place on October 14, 2011 and cameras were not allowed.
Madoff said he reads a lot in prison and that is has had six or seven jobs so far, and he said that he makes about $170 a month. He said that he finally feels free of the guilt he felt for so many years, and said “I deserved to be punished. I deserved to go to jail.”
“I feel safer here than outside,” Madoff said. “Days go by. I have people to talk to and no decisions to make. … I know that I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now I have no fear — nothing to think about because I’m no longer in control of my own life.”
Madoff’s wife, Ruth Madoff also spoke out for the first time on Wednesday, and she revealed that the couple attempted suicide together after Bernie had been caught, but they were unsuccessful. Ruth said that she used to drive 12 hours to visit Bernie in prison, but that he encouraged her to stop coming and to “let go” of him.
Their son, Mark Madoff committed suicide on December 11, 2010. After that Ruth said she had to let go of Bernie.
Madoff said: “Ruth not communicating is the hardest thing,” he added. “Ruth doesn’t hate me. She has no-one. It’s not fair to her. She lost her first son. … She is a devoted wife and didn’t care about the money.”
See the video to the left for more on this story.
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Sources: ABC News and 20/20
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