Ruth Madoff is still alive and well, and she now lives in an Old Greenwich, Connecticut, waterfront home owned by her daughter-in-law, Mark's first wife, Susan Elkin. She has had a difficult life and has kept a low profile, remaining out of the public eye.
Fiction may sometimes lead us to believe that the unusual can only happen on television, but the most unbelievable events happen all the time in real life. Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street, a Netflix docu-series, depicts the dramatic rise and fall of the Madoffs, who were famous for their billionaire fraudulent activities that ultimately led to their demise.
Though it was Bernie Madoff who initiated the entire scheme that landed him in prison. His wife Ruth Madoff, on the other hand, was one of the most affected by it and is still suffering the consequences of her family's past wrongdoings. So, where is Ruth Madoff these days? Is she still alive and well? Stay tuned for more information on Ruth Madoff and her sad and tragic life.
Earlier, we explored Jeffry Picower's, Peter Madoff's, and Carl Shapiro's net worth.
Ruth Madoff, 81, is still alive and she now resides in a 4,000-square-foot waterfront home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, owned by her daughter-in-law, Mark Madoff's first wife, Susan Elkin. She allegedly moved in so she could be closer to her grandchildren. After the apartments she shared with Bernie Madoff were liquidated, she moved in with her sister for a few years before moving into one of her son Andrew's apartments. However, she moved into a smaller apartment on her own after Andrew died of cancer in 2014.
Ruth Madoff, who is now widowed, has had a difficult life. She never divorced Bernie and barely claimed the full extent of his crimes after his arrest. She reportedly changed her name and appearance a few years after her husband's trial, moving to Florida with family and then to Connecticut. Ruth went to great lengths in the immediate aftermath to avoid being recognized in public, even dying her hair red.
While details about Ruth's current state are unknown, her decision to keep her current life private is understandable given not only the scandal her family endured but also the loss of her husband, Bernie, Mark, and Andrew Madoff in the last decade. Now Ruth has remained out of the public eye keeping a low profile.
Meanwhile, Bernie Madoff and Ruth Alpern were married for half a century and had a very stable and successful marriage. In fact, according to the Netflix original documentary series, Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street, Ruth and Bernie met in the 1950s when they were both students at Far Rockaway High School in Queens, New York City. However, Ruth met Bernie when she was 14.
Despite being three years her senior, Bernie and Ruth married as soon as Ruth turned 18 in 1959, two years before she graduated from Queen's College with a Psychology degree. Ruth later earned a second degree in nutrition from New York University in the 1990s. Despite having a non-business education, she allegedly worked as a bookkeeper for her husband's company before taking care of their sons full-time. She was apparently the company's director at one point.
Even though Bernie Madoff's widow knew her husband was a criminal, she couldn't stop loving him or letting him go, leading the couple to make a suicide pact to avoid facing the truth. They both took a bunch of sleeping pills on Christmas Eve 2008 to get the job done as painlessly as possible but awoke the next morning with no medical issues. However, the most heartbreaking aspect of Bernie's arrest is that their sons asked her to choose between them and their families and only for her to choose her life partner.
However, Ruth Madoff's husband was never divorced. She silently accepted the consequences of his deception, including hatred from her own family. After Bernie was sentenced to 150 years in prison and $170 billion in restitution, prosecutors went after Bernie and Ruth's assets, intending to use them to compensate the victims. Ruth's assets included cash, securities, money in her bank accounts, and the real estate properties she co-owned with Bernie, which were worth approximately $70 million in 2009.
The 81-year-old widow's lawyers reached a preliminary agreement with the prosecutors in 2009, allowing her to keep only $ 2.5 million while forfeiting the rest. However, she was not protected from the possibility that the trustee appointed by the court could claim more from her in the future. She reached a new agreement in 2019: she would pay about $600 million and keep the rest, with the promise to return any assets after her death. Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee, also sued her, accusing her of living a wealthy life off the proceeds of the fraud. Meanwhile, Ruth was left with between $1 and $2 million in assets.