"Today Show" host Matt Lauer sat down with the Madoff family on Monday, the morning after CBS News aired its exclusive "60 Minutes" interview with Bernie Madoff's estranged wife Ruth, son Andrew and Catherine Hooper--Andrew's fiancee.
The Today interview was billed by as a "live exclusive." Most of the territory was covered by "60 Minutes" with a couple of exceptions: Lauer told the family he spoke to Bernie Madoff "several times" last night, and that the convicted Ponzi-schemer told him that Ruth Madoff's claim that the two had attempted suicide while Bernie was under house arrest was true. Via the transcript:
There's been some speculation as to whether your husband agrees with this version of the story because he told New York magazine not long ago on the subject of suicide, "It's just not the way I am." Your husband called me several times last night after the interview on "60 Minutes" aired and he agrees completely with the way you told the story and said, 'Yes, in fact that is what happened.' He went further and said he took Ambien, aspirin and blood pressure medication and--tell me if any of this is right or wrong--the two of you got into bed that night fully dressed, because you suspected that your bodies would be found.
Ruth: I don't remember that. It could be true, I don't remember that.
Lauer also has an unusual tie to the Madoff family. On "Today" he disclosed to viewers that he lives in the Upper East Side building where the Ruth and Bernie spent three months under house arrest:
For three months, Bernie was in house arrest in the penthouse on the East Side. You were there with him, and boy, the media focused on that builiding, and in an effort of full disclosure, I know, because I live in that building. And like so many other people, Ruth, I was wondering, 'What are they doing up there? What's going on in that penthouse? [...] Weren't you screaming at him?'
Ruth: It took me awhile to realize that the same person I had lived with and loved for 50 years was the same person that destroyed all these lives.
You can watch both clips below: