The book, the thief, his wife and his lover

Fraudster Bernie Madoff's mistress's memoir races up the bestseller list

The multibillion investment fraudster Bernard Madoff did not stop at financial shenanigans, it seems. This weekend, to the list of those he cheated for decades can be added the name of his wife, Ruth.

For 20 years, Madoff had an affair with one of his investors, and the lady in question is about to tell her story. She is Sheryl Weinstein, a mother married for 37 years, whose book, Madoff's Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me, will be published by St Martin's Press on 25 August. A promotional blurb on the Barnes & Noble website says: "After a 20-year intimate relationship with Madoff – she lost it all. In Madoff's Other Secret, she tells her story. Filled with personal details, exclusive documents, and photographs, her account will reveal a Madoff nobody knew, and it will shock and surprise readers."

An attorney for Madoff's wife, Ruth, said his client did not know about the "alleged affair". The lawyer, Peter Chavkin, said that the allegations were a powerful reminder to those who claim Mrs Madoff knew about her husband's $65bn (£39bn) fraud "that there are some things that some spouses, however close they are, do not share with each other".

In the book, Mrs Weinstein says she met Madoff, now serving 150 years in prison for defrauding investors, at a business meeting when she was chief financial officer for the charitable women's organisation Hadassah, where she had a role in investment decisions. The charity was not one of the losers from Madoff's Ponzi scheme, withdrawing far more money than it put in. But suggestions that Mrs Weinstein was tipped off by Bernie's pillow-talk would be wrong. She herself was a heavy personal loser in the fraud.

At Madoff's June sentencing, Mrs Weinstein was among investors urging a long prison sentence for the financier, who admitted ripping off investors over at least two decades. She said she viewed meeting him 21 years ago "as perhaps the unluckiest day of my life". Mrs Weinstein said that her investment losses had forced her to sell her Manhattan home, had devastated her, her husband of 37 years, her son, her parents, her in-laws and everyone who depended on them. She called Madoff "that terror, that monster, that horror, that beast".

In her correspondence with the court, Mrs Weinstein made no mention of the affair, though she did write, in a request to speak at sentencing, that she wanted to address Madoff and the court because she thought "the personal connection may be more difficult for him to ignore".

Her husband, Ron Weinstein, said in a June letter to the court that all the money the couple had saved was lost and their marriage was strained: "My wife has been a basket case, and we are both very depressed." During the late June sentencing hearing, Mrs Weinstein was among those urging that the fraudster be sent down for a long stretch.

Madoff's lawyer Ira Sorkin's only remark on the book was that he hoped the author "was more discreet with her investment obligations than she has allegedly been with her sex life".

By Friday evening, the publicity about Mrs Weinstein's book had pushed its pre-sale ranking on Amazon from No 4,408 eight hours earlier to No 1,415. By Saturday evening, it was heading for the top 500.

The book has drawn fresh attention to Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organisation of America, which has said its principal investment with Madoff totalled about $33m, while another $7m had been entrusted to him after it was donated by a French backer in 1988. Hadassah did not return a telephone call for comment.

Stanley Epstein, a California lawyer married to a Hadassah member, said Hadassah's treasurer told him after Madoff's arrest in December that the organisation had cashed in between $120m and $130m from its Madoff accounts over the years. The profits could make the organisation a target for those seeking to recover money to be distributed to defrauded investors. Mr Epstein's wife, Harriet, said. "The fact that this woman had an affair and was on the committee that made decisions about investments makes no sense. She obviously had a conflict of interest."

Additional reporting by Jessica Picken

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy