When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008, Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgwick lost most of their fortune in Bernard Madoff's so-called "Ponzi" scheme. The American actor went back over this story on Monday 10 October in the American podcast SmartLess.
"There are obvious life lessons. If something is too good to be true, it's too good to be true," said Kevin Bacon in the episode of the SmartLess podcast broadcast on 10 October. The 64-year-old American actor and his wife Kyra Sedgwick lost most of their fortune during the 2008 economic crisis in the scheme run by Bernard Madoff, who died in April 2021 at the age of 82. The American businessman was at the head of one of the largest financial fraud schemes in US history: a so-called "Ponzi" scheme worth around 65 billion dollars. On 29 June 2009, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, before dying twelve years later in his cell.
Kevin Bacon looks back on this story, in which he was particularly affected, in the podcast hosted by his colleagues Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes. "When something like this happens, you look at each other and say 'well, this sucks and let's roll up our sleeves and get to work'. We've come this far, our kids are healthy, we're healthy. You know? Let's look at what we have that's good. We can both still work".
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick never revealed the amount of their losses. Some American press reports put the figure in the millions of dollars. "Of course we're angry, but I have to say that there were a lot of people who were much worse off than we were – old people, people whose retirement funds were completely wiped out," the actor said. He also explained that he was able to recover "some of the money", without giving further details.
According to the official website, Bernard Madoff's foundation has reimbursed more than 4 billion dollars to over 40,000 victims. Among them, the biggest stars of Hollywood: Uma Thurman, Al Pacino, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or the photographer Annie Leibovitz. Some had invested most of their money in the "Madoff system". This fraudulent scheme then collapsed during the 2009 crisis. "We thought he was God. We trusted in his hands," said writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel that same year.
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