Navigate to News section

Madoff on ‘Madoff’: Absurd and Inaccurate

Bernie Madoff has criticized the ABC miniseries about his life and crimes

Jonathan Zalman
February 17, 2016

Bernie Madoff, in prison because he ran the largest Ponzo scheme in history, is not a fan of the recent ABC depiction of his life—and those $65 billion Wall St. crimes. He offering the following criticisms about Madoff, which has received lukewarm reviews to begin with, to NBC (they have had previous correspondence):

— Madoff called the ABC treatment an “absurd mischaracterization,” and ficticious.

— “I have NEVER slapped my son Mark,” Madoff wrote. Mark, Bernie Madoff’s eldest son, committed suicide in 2010.

— According to the his correspondence with NBC, “Madoff insisted his wife Ruth was never “an officer” in his shady firm”; Madoff also did not like the characterization of his brother, Peter, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence for his role in the pyramid scheme that flushed the savings of investors. “My brother was improperly characterized as pathetic soul,” wrote Madoff. “In reality, Peter was a brilliant and important leader.”

The NBC report continues:

Madoff had other gripes. Once again he denied having an affair with the chief financial officer of a Jewish charity he swindled, dismissing the woman as a “stalker.” He said he never bought his brother a car. He also said his parents were never the subject of gossip while he was growing up in Queens.

“In fact they were highly regarded in our community,” he insisted in the email. “My father was the president of the temple.”

The 77-year-old Madoff, who was played by Richard Dreyfuss, stood by his crimes, in a sense, calling the pain they have inflicted as “unforgivable.” And he vowed to recover his clients’ “lost investment principal.”

Robert De Niro will soon play Bernie Madoff in an HBO series, with Michele Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.