Nine years on from Bernie Madoff’s arrest for the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, the disgraced Wall Street banker’s wife, Ruth, is living in a small New England town, far away from the luxurious Manhattan life she once lived.
Five days ahead of the premiere of HBO’s The Wizard Of Lies, which tells the story of Madoff and his $65billion Ponzi scheme, Ruth is remaining quiet, spending her days at her 989-square-foot townhouse in the 6,100-person town of Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
Everyone in Old Greenwich seems to know Ruth, who turns 76 this week, and the story of how her Upper East Side life crumbled – but no one in the town talks about her fall from grace.
Neighbors say that Ruth mainly keeps to herself, taking drives in her Toyota Prius and going for long walks around town.
She has, however, had at least one famous visitor: Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Ruth in The Wizard of Lies, spent time in Madoff’s wife’s kitchen and studied her to prepare for the role.
Director Barry Levinson told Page Six that Pfeiffer ‘spent a little time’ with Ruth as she prepared for her role.
‘I don’t think it would be appropriate to say she “cooperated” with the film,’ he said of Ruth. ‘Michelle simply spent a little time talking to Ruth.
‘I don’t think Michelle talked much about the script. It was simply to get to know her – however brief the time spent.’
Meanwhile, Levinson and Robert De Niro, who is playing Madoff in the film, never got a chance to meet the banker.
In Old Greenwich, Ruth gets her hair done at a local salon, walks to a local bagel shop every day and has even joined a local Pilates studio since settling in her more than $3,000-a-month townhouse two years ago, according to the New York Post.
Her gated community features a heated swimming pool, squash courts, a gym and security.
It’s unclear how Ruth continues to fund her life in the New England town, where private three-class packages for Pilates cost $255 and the local salon charges between $175 and $200 for highlights.