Mrs Madoff speaks: ‘I’m a victim too’

In her first public statement, addressed through her lawyers to the Madoff
investors bilked out of their life savings, she drew two portraits of the
man who was her high-school sweetheart.

“I am breaking my silence now, because my reluctance to speak has been
interpreted as indifference or lack of sympathy for the victims of my
husband Bernie?s crime, which is exactly the opposite of the truth.

“From the moment I learned from my husband that he had committed an enormous
fraud, I have had two thoughts – first, that so many people who trusted him
would be ruined financially and emotionally, and second, that my life with
the man I have known for over 50 years was over. Many of my husband?s
investors were my close friends and family. And in the days since December,
I have read, with immense pain, the wrenching stories of people whose life
savings have evaporated because of his crime.

“My husband was the one we (and I include myself) respected and trusted with
our lives and our livelihoods, often for many, many years, and who was
respected in the securities industry as well. Then there is the other man
who stunned us all with his confession and is responsible for this terrible
situation in which so many now find themselves. Lives have been upended and
futures have been taken away. All those touched by this fraud feel betrayed;
disbelieving the nightmare they woke to. I am embarrassed and ashamed. Like
everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this
horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.

“In the end, to say that I feel devastated for the many whom my husband has
destroyed is truly inadequate. Nothing I can say seems sufficient regarding
the daily suffering that all those innocent people are enduring because of
my husband. But if it matters to them at all, please know that not a day
goes by when I don?t ache over the stories that I have heard and read.”

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