Madoff Expresses Remorse In TV Interview

Oct 27 2011 | 8:50am ET

The Madoff family media push continues today with some words from the man himself.

Bernard Madoff recently sat down for a two-hour interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters. And she told the network's "Good Morning America" today that he feels both remorse and happiness in his prison cell in Butner, N.C., where, he says, he "deserved to go."

Madoff told Walters that he has "horrible nightmares" about his $65 million fraud and that he feels remorse. But the con-man couldn't help indulging a bit of the self-pity that has characterized his comments since his arrest and sentence to 150 years in prison.

Madoff complained that the average person thinks he "robbed widows and orphans." In fact, he told Walters, "I made wealthy people wealthier"—at least until their investments with him disappeared on Dec. 11, 2008.

"I understand why clients hate me," he said. "The gravy train is over."

Madoff said that he "can live with" the vitriol of his victims, but "not seeing my family and knowing they hate me" is difficult to handle.

"I betrayed them," he said of his family. Of his grandchildren, he said, "I am sorry to have caused them pain."

Walter's revelations come after CBS offered a few snippets of its upcoming interview with Madoff's wife, Ruth, and surviving son, Andrew, on "60 Minutes" this Sunday, and the release of a book about the ordeal by the widow of their son, Mark, who hanged himself last year.

Madoff said he hasn't seen his wife since then. Shortly after Mark killed himself, she "asked me to let her go, which I understood."

"Ruth not communicating is the hardest thing," he said. "Ruth doesn't hate me. She has no one. It's not fair to her."

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Ruth Madoff said she and her husband attempted suicide weeks after he was arrested. Bernard Madoff told Walters he had indeed been suicidal at that time, but has not been since he arrived in prison more than two years ago.

"I feel safer here than outside," Walters quoted him as saying. "I have people to talk to, no decisions to make."

"I know I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I'm no longer in control."


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