Andrew Madoff: Can he rehabilitate his image?

Andrew Madoff, son of disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, says in an interview on "60 Minutes" that he's "prepared to start over again and build myself back up."

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    Andrew Madoff denied any knowledge of his father's Ponzi scheme, saying his father would tell him and his brother, "You guys have your business to worry about and let me worry about my business."
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Both Andrew Madoff, son of Bernie Madoff, and Andrew’s mother Ruth recently appeared on “The Today Show” and “60 Minutes” to promote a new book titled “Truth and Consequences” by Laurie Sandell, which centers on the effect father Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme had on the family.

Andrew Madoff, who turned his father into the authorities with his brother Mark, has seemed to want to clear his name as the fallout of the financial scandal has continued. The question is whether he can fully rehabilitate his image after his family’s scandal.

Madoff said during his “60 Minutes” appearance that “from the very beginning of this whole episode, I've had absolutely nothing to hide. And I've been eager, I would say almost desperate to speak out publicly and tell people that I'm absolutely not involved.”

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It’s been the subject of endless debate whether Bernie Madoff’s sons Andrew and Mark and his brother Peter knew about the financial swindling that was going on, considering they all worked for Bernie Madoff’s company. During his “Today Show” appearance, Andrew Madoff was asked why he wasn’t suspicious about the secrecy with which his father, with whom Andrew says he has cut off all contact, did his investing. Andrew said on “The Today Show” that he was blinded by his father’s impressive reputation and that he grew up hearing of him as a “legend” and a “spectacularly skillful trader.”

On “60 Minutes,” he said his father would tell him not to worry about the investing part of the firm when Andrew asked.

“It was, ‘You guys have your business to worry about and let me worry about my business,’ and the conversation would end there,” Andrew said.

He said people who thought he and his brother must have known about the scheme should know how busy the pace of the office was.

“Keep in mind these were completely separate businesses,” Andrew Madoff said on “60 Minutes.” “We were executing hundreds of thousands of transactions a day. And that kept all of us incredibly busy. And it just didn't occur to me that he could be involved in any kind of criminal activity.”

Andrew Madoff said on “60 Minutes” that it was the most terrible moment of his life when his father revealed to the family what had been going on.

“I knew absolutely nothing about this before my father shared the information with me,” he said.

During his interviews, Andrew Madoff seemed eager to distance himself from his father, saying that he will find it impossible to ever forgive him.

“I'm not hearing sincerity and remorse in there,” he said on "The Today Show" of communication he’s heard from his father in prison. “I try to find it in my heart to forgive him, but I’m not there yet.”

Andrew Madoff also said that he feels sympathy for the victims of the scheme who lost their money.

“There's no way to explain what he did, the damage he has caused,” he said on “The Today Show.” “What possible explanation could there be?”

Irving Picard, the bankruptcy trustee, and David Sheehan, his lead counsel, have said the Madoff family should give any money they have because the Madoffs should have known about the scheme, they say. Picard is suing Andrew Madoff for $60 million, according to “60 Minutes.”

Andrew Madoff says he disagrees with many of the statements in the lawsuit that Picard has filed against him, and he spoke of wanting to move past the scandal.

“I'm hopeful that, in time, we'll be able to reach a settlement and I'll be able to put this behind me,” he said on “60 Minutes.”

Andrew Madoff said his life is “an open book” on “60 Minutes.”

“I am prepared to start over again and build myself back up,” he said.

The book “Truth and Consequences” contains interviews with Andrew Madoff as well as his mother Ruth. It was arranged by Andrew Madoff’s fiancé, Catherine Hooper, according to “60 Minutes,” and only Hooper will receive profits from the book, not Ruth or Andrew Madoff, according to the CBS program.

Andrew Madoff’s fiancé said telling what really happened is the most important thing to them.

“Public opinion has to be something that doesn't matter to us,” Hooper said on “60 Minutes.” “What matters to us is the truth.”

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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