One of the biggest scandals of the past decade was the arrest and conviction of Bernie Madoff, an investment advisor who famously scammed his customers out of over $50 billion and is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence. The new HBO film The Wizard of Lies dramatizes the scandal, while also raising the profile of his family, including his wife Ruth, who's played by Michelle Pfeiffer. But where is Ruth Madoff now? Did she get in trouble like her husband, or is she a free woman?
Ruth did not go to jail, and has never been charged with any crimes in connection with her husband's schemes. She has denied being a part of Bernie's wrongdoings, and claims that she didn't even have knowledge of them. However, that doesn't mean her life has been a breeze since her husband's scandal came to light. She confessed in a 60 Minutes interview in 2011 that she and Bernie had attempted suicide in 2008 when his Ponzi scheme was first exposed. She has also dealt with the death of both of her sons since her husband's imprisonment. Her son Mark hanged himself in 2010 on the second year anniversary of Bernie's arrest, and her son Andrew passed away in 2014 due to lymphoma. Today, Ruth remains married to Bernie, but has lost access to the bulk of their wealth, as the homes she shared with him and their hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets were all seized by authorities.
As of February of last year, Ruth, now 75, was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Connecticut and driving a Toyota Prius, according to ABC News. She lives close by to her grandchildren and apparently spends her days running errands and reading. In other words, she seems to be living a pretty normal life, but one that's a far cry from the multimillion dollar lifestyle she was used to. But just because she's no longer a high-roller, that doesn't mean she's just barely scraping by. Ruth was allowed to keep $2.5 million by the government, and that amount will likely last her for the rest of her life.
Ruth is by no means poor, but she has certainly suffered some consequences over the past several years. Although many people believe she was complicit in her husband's crimes, she was never charged with any wrongdoing. She has avoided the press for some time now, and it seems clear that she just wants to live the rest of her life in peace.