Ever since prosecutors accused Mr. Madoff, 71, in December of orchestrating a scheme that fleeced thousands of investors and foundations — including beloved charities, universities and the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel— Mrs. Madoff has been taking it on the chin. The reaction has been so negative compared with other wives in the same position partly, it seems, because her husband’s crimes grievously harmed individuals rather than a bank or faceless institution.
Her unusual closeness to her husband, too, in a world where wives are often on the sidelines is among the things working against her. Mrs. Madoff had been a director at her husband’s firm and had stood inseparably beside him through 49 years of marriage.
Then there is the lack of public contrition by Mrs. Madoff, and her move days before the scandal to shift $15.5 million out of an investment account and to transfer watches, cuff links and other jewelry to her children. One day after she left the Manhattan jail where her husband has been held, an ABC camera crew asked her what her message was to the victims. She said, “I have no response to you.”
Monica, clearly, you don’t want to be a Ruthie Ruth. Or the cheese that stands alone. When Walt gets put up in the Mews, expand your life – volunteer for something “Friends of Greenwich Point” has probably never heard of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, for instance. Those charities that have a “pay to play” policy, like the Boys and Girls Club or Bruce Museum won’t want you, but perhaps the Riverside Association can put you to work licking stamps. Don’t commit now, just think about it. After Walt’s tucked away in his Depends and bib will be time enough.