Sunday, October 30, 2011
Bernie Madoff's daughter-in-law was planning to divorce his son before he committed suicide
Bernie Madoff's daughter-in-law was planning to divorce his son Mark before he committed suicide in their Manhattan home last year, a new book claims.
Mark's brother Andrew alleges that Stephanie Madoff Mack had met with lawyers about a separation, blaming his sister-in-law for 'taking a bad situation and making it worse'.
She has said her late husband despaired at the continual news coverage about his father and in a failed 2009 suicide attempt had left a note saying his life was 'destroyed' and telling his dad: 'F**k you'.
However, Andrew says in a new book that the that thought of another divorce weighed heavily on his mind, too.
'For Mark, the prospect of a second divorce was unthinkable. He'd done it once before and couldn't bear to live apart from his children again, especially without his immediate family to fall back on,' Andrew says in 'Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family', the latest tell-all on the infamous saga due out tomorrow.
The account is written by author Laurie Sandell, who says she was approached by Andrew Madoff and his fiancee, Catherine Hooper, to write about the family's painful experience, according to the Washington Post. Ruth Madoff also cooperated, Ms Sandell writes.
Andrew's claims in the book shed new light on the day his brother committed suicide aged 46 in the living room of his $6million Soho loft.
He was found hanging from a black dog leash while his two-year-old son slept nearby.
It was the second anniversary of his father's arrest and people close to him said he was despondent over press coverage of his father's case, an ongoing criminal investigation of Madoff family members in the multibillion-dollar scheme and his struggle to rebuild his life.
But Andrew alleges that just days before he died, Mark had confided to his first wife Susan Elkin, that Stephanie 'is about to leave me,' according to the New York Post.
He also says that she had changed her name as part of the process.
Stephanie's efforts to have her surname, and those of their two infant children, Aubrey and Nicholas, switched to Morgan were reported at the time as being part of an attempt to avoid the media glare.
And in her book, 'The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life', which was released earlier this month, she made no mention of the alleged divorce proceedings.
Andrew says in the book that divorcing Susan in 1999, and missing out on time with his two children from that marriage, was something Mark did not want to repeat.
Stephanie lays the blame for her husband's death firmly with his father, stating in a recent interview that she holds him 'fully responsible for killing my husband' and she would 'spit in his face'.
In the new book, Andrew also has some stinging words for his dead brother, whom he describes as a 'mama's boy' because he spoke to their mother Ruth everyday while in college, the New York Post reported.
In the book Andrew complains about occasions when Mark 'rattled him out' for drinking beer and kissing girls when they were teens.
He also slams his sibling's math skills, saying, 'People would watch him fall apart and roll their eyes.'
The accusation somewhat jars with previous statements from trading executives which painted Mark as 'among the best in understanding market structure'.
Andrew tells of how their father Bernie would pit the brothers against each other and his belief that he only kept them at his firm for cover.
On one occasion when Andrew announced he wanted to leave the business, according to the New York Post, Bernie shouted: 'You can't do this.
You're abandoning you're brother. This is unacceptable. After everything I've done for you!'
In hindsight,' Andrew tells, 'it's obvious that the fact that we were there provided cover. he used us as a shield. Maybe the people at the firm who were in on it would have panicked if they'd seen us jumping ship.