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Ruth Madoff, The Loneliest Woman in New York

Ruth Madoff, The Loneliest Woman in New York

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Poor Ruth Madoff.

She used to get foil highlights every six weeks — her shade is Soft Baby Blonde, and she was religious about color — but the last time she called her Manhattan salon, Pierre Michel on East 57th Street, she was told not to return. “I understand,” she said, according to the salon’s co-owner. The Amagansett florist who decorated her husband’s annual corporate party in Montauk with lismachia, Queen Anne’s lace and thistles has banned her as a client, saying she will not associate with the wife of one of history’s most notorious financial scoundrels.

Even her sons, Mark and Andrew, who have not been charged by prosecutors but are banned by their lawyers from contact with their parents, have begun to refer to “Mom” and “Dad” as “Ruth” and “Bernie,” according to family friends.

Ruth Madoff, 68, has not been charged with any crime or even questioned by prosecutors. But she has become perhaps the most vilified spouse of a financial rogue in history. When her husband, Bernard Madoff, divulged his Ponzi scheme, a $65-billion fraud for which he awaits sentencing later this month, Mrs. Madoff’s life was also ruined. Although no evidence has emerged to date that she conspired or even knew about her husband’s crimes, her plight has evoked no apparent public sympathy. She has been pilloried and turned into a pariah.

– from NYTimes