US & Canada

Fraudster Bernard Madoff and wife 'attempted suicide'

Bernard Madoff. File photo
Image caption Madoff's ponzi scheme deprived thousands of investors of their savings

The wife of jailed US financial swindler Bernard Madoff has said the couple attempted suicide after his $65bn (£41bn) fraud scheme was exposed.

Ruth Madoff told the CBS programme 60 Minutes the couple took a "bunch of pills" on Christmas Eve in 2008.

"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening," she said.

Madoff is serving a 150-year jail sentence after being convicted in 2009.

Ruth Madoff told CBS that the couple had made the suicide pact on Christmas Eve, which - she continued - added to "the whole depression".

"I took what we had, he took more," she said, adding that she did not drink any alcohol with them for fear of vomiting.

Among the pills were Ambien (a sedative) and possibly Klonopin (for seizure and panic disorder treatment).

"We took pills and woke up the next day... It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up", Mrs Madoff said.

The interview in full will be broadcast on CBS on 30 October.

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Media captionRuth Madoff says she does not know whose idea the suicide attempt was, but she is glad it failed

CBS said it would contain many previously undisclosed revelations about the family in the aftermath of the scandal.

Madoff's ponzi scheme, which had been running since the early 1990s, deprived thousands of investors of their savings.

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