Vanity Fair goes for broke with a 9,000-word story co-written by Bernie Madoff's long-time secretary Eleanor Squillari. According to juicy bits teased by VF, Bernie was sorta sleazy. The lowlights:
On his personality:
The way Madoff handled stress was “by saying something nasty: You look terrible. You’re gaining weight. You’re stupid. I never took anything he said to me personally, because I knew it wasn’t about me, it was about him.”
On his seamy side:
“Bernie was irresistible to women” and “had a roving eye.” Squillari once caught him perusing the escort ads in the back of a magazine, and he frequently visited massage parlors. “Once, I looked in his address book and found, under M, about a dozen phone numbers for his masseuses. ‘If you ever lose your address book and somebody finds it, they’re going to think you’re a pervert,’ I said.”
The only real bit of important (rather than salacious) news is when Squillari hints Madoff's wife, Ruth, had a close relationship with the company. Have to say, I'm a little disappointed in the guy. Madoff acting like a bad stereotype of a Wall Street villain (complete with the tawdry harassment details) actually makes the story less interesting. You expect the guy behind such a huge scheme to be sleazy. Wasn't it even weirder when he was just a button-down billionaire faking his way through decades of fraud using only his wits and a 20-year old computer?