Juicy Bernie Madoff Book Is a Pathetic Ploy for Attention

bernie madoff bad karma t-shirtYou knew it was coming: another look "inside the world of Bernie Madoff." This one is a little different, though, because it's by someone in the family -- the widow of the fallen financier's son Mark Madoff, who committed suicide last year. It's all part of the juicy tell-all memoir by said widow, Stephanie Madoff Mack. Is the autobiography salacious, fascinating, and hard to put down from the looks of it? Yes, for sure. But why do people close to these scandals always have to be hawking some book or movie project when they decide to break their silence and tell the world about the horror they've been through?

Look, I'm a writer. I get how cathartic it is to spill your guts on the printed page, especially when you've been through the kind of trauma and hell that poor woman has obviously been through. The tidbits the press is pouncing on from Mack's autobiography The End of Normal aren't only captivating to the extreme, they'll pull at your heartstrings, hard


Bernie's daughter-in-law writes about suffering through her husband's first suicide attempt a year before he succeeded in taking his life at the end of 2010. She talks about the fallout from having such an infamous last name (which is why she changed it to Mack), like having her credit card denied when she was trying to buy things for her new baby. She is sure Mark Madoff knew nothing of his dad's dirty, rotten crimes.

"I hold him fully responsible for killing my husband," she said of Bernie Madoff in a 20/20 interview she did to promote her book (it came out October 20). She says if she saw her estranged father-in-law again, she'd spit in his face.

The book includes completely depressing text messages and emails sent between Mack's late husband and his dad and jailhouse letters she and Bernie exchanged that will disgust you if you believe they're true. In them, she says, the Ponzi schemer brags about loving jail and being treated like a celebrity behind bars.

Blah blah blah. I mean, it's interesting and all -- who wouldn't be hanging on this woman's every word? She's the first Madoff family member to come forward and talk about what the whole mess was like. But -- call me naive -- I wish she were doing it to inform and educate the public, not to sell her book. Sure, she's probably written the autobiography to get it out of her system and share her story with the world. I'm not saying Mack's motives are totally selfish. There's clearly an audience for this kind of thing.

And of course, I get it. if you write a bombshell memoir like this, you and your publisher certainly want it to sell and the media and public certainly want to hear about it. I guess it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It seems so done to death, cliché, money-hungry, attention-grabbing -- oh, and did I mention money-hungry and attention-grabbing?

Then again, maybe it's just little old jaded me. Maybe I'll even make a total hypocrite of myself and read the damn thing one day. Better yet, maybe I'll wind up in the midst of my own scandalous family drama one day and write a memoir, then go out and promote it -- all the while eating these very words.

Would you buy this tell-all by Bernie Madoff's daughter-in-law?


Image via senang69/Flickr and KarmaArmy.com Shirts/Flickr

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