Bernie Madoff and wife Ruth attempted suicide: Madoff family opens up

ruth-madoff-bernie-madoff.jpg Ruth Madoff, wife of famed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, has been silent for years, but on Thursday Oct. 27 "Today" aired clips from her first interview since his arrest. Ruth came clean about the suicide attempt that she and her husband agreed on the Christmas Eve after his arrest.

His assets were frozen and he was under house arrest in the couple's $7 million home that holiday. "I don't know whose idea it was," Ruth says in a '60 Minutes' segment. "But we decided to kill ourselves, because it was so horrendous. I said, 'I just can't go on anymore.'"

"It was Christmas Eve, and that added to the whole depression," she continues. She notes that before they made their attempts, she set aside several pieces of antique jewelry and sent them to their son, Andy.

"I tore open the envelope, and dumped it out, and it was absolutely heartbreaking," Andy recalls. "These were pieces of jewelry that I recognized, things that I had seen my mother wearing."

"We took pills and woke up the next day," Ruth says.

It was not the fate of their son Mark, who took his own life by hanging in December 2010 after being accused of conspiring with his father.

Ruth and Andy have both collaborated with author Laurie Sandell on a book about their experiences.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images