Bernard Madoff, the former tycoon who admitted to one of the world's largest financial frauds, was the sort of boss who occasionally made lewd references even while zipping up his flies after a toilet break, his former secretary writes in an article to be published in Vanity Fair this week.
Eleanor Squillari, who worked for Madoff for 20 years but eventually assisted the FBI, co-wrote the article about her experience for the June edition of the magazine. She writes that Madoff seemed to be "in a coma" for several weeks and took to compulsively checking his blood pressure every 15 minutes. "I'm having a hard time getting past the person that I did know, who was so kind and generous, and I admired him," Ms Squillari, 59, said yesterday on a quick round of the network breakfast shows to promote the article. "I can't seem to get it in my head that he did this. It's like it's somebody else."
She also claims that Madoff, who may spend the rest of his life in prison, had contact numbers for a dozen masseuses. She writes that she once told him: "If you ever lose your address book and somebody finds it, they're going to think you're a pervert."
And then there were the suggestive remarks made in her direction. "Sometimes when he came out of his bathroom, which was diagonal to my desk, he would still be zipping up his pants. If he saw me shaking my head disapprovingly, he would say, 'Oh, you know it excites you'," she wrote.
Madoff's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, declined to comment on the magazine article. His wife Ruth Madoff's lawyer Peter Chavkin also declined to comment.