'60 Minutes': Ponzi Scheme Perpetrator Bernie Madoff and Wife Attempted Suicide

2:13 PM PST 10/26/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

“I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening,” Ruth Madoff tells CBS News.

Bernie and Ruth Madoff attempted suicide together on the Christmas Eve after Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme was made public.

The revelation comes in a CBS News interview with Ruth Madoff, the only interview she has given about her husband’s crimes.

“I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening,” Ruth Madoff tells 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer. “We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said ‘…I just can’t go on anymore.’”

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Portions of the interview will air Wednesday on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and in its entirety on 60 Minutes Sunday, Oct. 30.

The Madoffs attempted to overdose on pills: Ambien and possibly Klonopin, Ruth Madoff tells Safer.

“I took what we had, he took more,” she says. “That added to the whole depression. We took pills and woke up the next day. It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up.”

The 60 Minutes piece also includes an interview with surviving son Andrew Madoff. Mark Madoff hanged himself in his Manhattan apartment on Dec. 11, 2010, while his 2-year-old son slept nearby. Bernie Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term in North Carolina.

Stephanie Mack, Mark Madoff's widow, has written a book about her own ordeal - The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life. In an interview with ABC News' Chris Cuomo that aired last week on 20/20, Mack said that her late husband had previously unsuccessfully attempted suicide by swallowing 60 anti-anxiety and sleeping pills. 

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