In the first interview she has given about her husband’s crimes, Ruth Madoff told CBS that she and Bernie Madoff attempted to commit suicide during the wave of public outrage following her husband’s arrest.

In December of 2008, Bernard Madoff was arrested for perpetrating the largest and most lucrative Ponzi scheme in US history. He eventually plead guilty and received a sentence of 150 years in prison.

In the interview, scheduled to air on CBS Sunday, Ruth told ’60 Minutes’ that on Christmas Eve, in the midst of the arrest and investigation, she and her husband attempted to overdose on a variety of prescription drugs, including Ambien.

According to a transcript from CBS, Ruth said, “I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening. We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said, ‘… I just can’t go on anymore.’”

“We took pills and woke up the next day. It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up,” she added.

This isn’t the first time suicide has shaken the Madoff family. Last December, Mark Madoff, the couple’s son, was found dead after hanging himself in his SoHo apartment. He and other family members were facing a number of civil suits accusing them of profiting from the pyramid scheme because of excessive fund withdrawals.

Sunday’s ’60 Minutes’ interview will be Ruth’s first since this all began, but in a statement following her husband’s sentencing, Ruth said she was “embarrassed and ashamed” of her husband’s actions.

“The man who committed this horrible fraud is not that man whom I have known for all these years,” she said.


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