There may be new trouble for Bernie Madoff, who's serving 150 years in prison for a multi-billion-dollar ponzi scheme. A British newspaper says Ruth Madoff, his wife of 52 years, has ditched him as she tries to patch up her shattered life.
According to Madoff biographer Diana Henriques, Ruth Madoff has not visited her husband since the December suicide of their eldest son, Mark.
She is reportedly looking to reconcile with their remaining son, Andrew Madoff who, along with his brother, gave his mother an ultimatum after their father's massive fraud was exposed: Choose us or him. She chose her husband.
After Mark Madoff killed himself, Ruth Madoff was turned away from the funeral by Mark's widow. Bernie is said to be stunned at how angry his family has become. For a man who has lost his fortune and freedom, his wife may be the next to go, according to a report in the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
On "The Early Show," Henriques -- the first reporter to interview Madoff in prison and author of "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust"- - said Ruth Madoff stayed with her husband because, her friends say, she had so much compassion for the schemer.
"She fell in love with him when she was 13, married when she was 18," Henriques said. "It was a 50-year romance, and she simply couldn't leave him. But for all practical purposes, the Madoff marriage was split apart by that 150-year prison sentence that will keep Madoff behind bars for the rest of his life. So my sense is that Ruth is now focusing all her efforts on rebuilding a relationship with her surviving son, Andrew, and her grandchildren."
Henriques said Bernie Madoff seems to want Ruth to move on.
Henriques explained, "Bernie wants Ruth to do whatever she must to rebuild her life, even at the expense of their obviously limited time together. He cares very much about her, and I think wants her to have the comfort of her family in the years to come."
But will Andrew Madoff welcome his estranged mother back?
"We're going to see," Henriques said. "I'm encouraged by the sources that I hear that there are good signs of reconciliation. And the progress remains to be seen, obviously. There's a dreadful burden of anger and hurt. This crime shattered the Madoff family, as it did so many families among the victims, of course."
Wragge added, "And there are probably a lot of people that were victimized by this family that have no sympathy for anything going on with their family right now."
However, Henriques said there may be a bright spot ahead for the victims of scheme in terms of recovered money.
"It's a remarkable recovery," Henriques said. "... The trustee, Irving Picard, is on track to potentially return victims up to 50 cents on the dollar of their out-of-pocket losses. Now, obviously, you can't rebuild the shattered lives. You can't recover the homes that were sold and the college educations. But in ponzi scheme terms, this is a phenomenal recovery, if he only gets 50 cents on the dollar. That was the good news. He landed another billion-dollar out-of-court settlement just a few weeks ago, which was another big gain for him."
Wragge said, "More to come I'm sure. But still, getting 50 cents potentially on the dollar back so much better, like you said, normal ponzi schemes it's only about five cents."
Henriques said, "If you're lucky."