Behind every disgraced financier is a disgraced wife, but the public reaction to Ruth Madoff has been especially withering, Lynnley Browning writes in the New York Times. While the wives of other swindlers have reinvented themselves, Mrs. Madoff—scorned by her hairdresser, florist, and sons—has not tried to restore her image. “She’s perceived as the succubus to Bernie’s incubus,” said one observer.
Many New Yorkers remain suspicious of Ruth's complicity in her husband's crimes, and cringe over her lack of remorse. So Ruth spends her days at the Madoff two-story penthouse on the Upper East Side. “In America, we love tearing people down and then bringing them back, but she hasn’t played the game,” said one observer. Advises the wife of a disgraced Wall Street trader: “If you’re honest, don’t let the world put you on a spit and turn you over.”