Our investigation of Bernie Madoff’s real estate portfolio continues with a not very thorough examination of his Montauk Long Island beach house. Built in the early 80s, it is every bit as depressing as the one we used in the movie–high ceilings ruined by bad galleries, formica counters, faux-stone fireplace, tacky windows etc., the view being the only real selling point. (By the way, we used a house in Long Island that was so close Queens we could have taken the subway to work–amazing how relatively similar the beach was forty-five minutes out of the city compared to five hours and forty-five minutes out of the city, the usual Hamptons commuting time).
If there’s anything sweet to be found in the Madoff tale, it’s that this house was purchased a good ten years before the Madoffs entered the billionaire phase of their lives, yet they never sold it and moved up. A little sentimental fact that we put in the movie and which does nothing to alter the perception of Madoff as anything but dreadfully evil. (Though I thought his letter about our movie was sweet–he defended his little brother Peter very nicely and apparently never slapped his son Mark, the one he drove to suicide).
Above is a video shot by a Madoff stalker who drives out to see the house, apparently posing as a buyer. The nice real estate woman shows him/us around and somehow doesn’t mind this clearly phony buyer shooting her on his phone. Given my own dark history with pretending to be a buyer in order to see some dead directors house, I can only say: hark the pot calling the kettle black. Note the FBI tags on the lousy leather furniture. Gee, another Madoff victim got their $1800 dollars back.