It was the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. A multi-billion dollar scam that destroyed the economic futures of tens of thousands of people around the world. And GenX icon Kevin Bacon and his longtime wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, lost nearly all the money they had as a result of it.
Appearing Monday on the “SmartLess” podcast, hosted by Sean Hayes, Will Arnett, and fellow former ’80s heartthrob Jason Batemen, Bacon opened up about being a victim of Madoff’s manipulation — a subject he has previously avoided in interviews.
According to the “Footloose” star, he and Sedgwick “had most of our money in Madoff.”
(Podcast: SmartLess, via Apple Podcasts)
“Yeah, there’s obvious life lessons there. You know, if something is too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” Bacon said. “And when something like that happens, you know, you look at each other, then you go, ‘Well, that sucks. Let’s, roll up our sleeves and get to work,’ you know?”
“We’ve made it this far. Our kids are healthy. We’re healthy. You know, let’s look at … what we have that’s good. We can still both work and, yeah, I mean certainly, you know, you get angry and stuff, but I have to say that, you know, that, dude — there were a lot of people who were much worse off than we were,” he continued. “You know, old people, people whose retirement funds were completely, you know, decimated. So there’s always gonna be somebody that’s gonna have it a lot worse than you.”
“You know, whatever the cliches all… work, ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and we just rolled up our sleeves,” he said.
Though Madoff was arrested in 2008 and pled guilty to 11 federal crimes in 2009. He died in federal prison in 2021 at the age of 82, but the fallout from his crimes continues.
Just last month, the Department of Justice announced “its eighth distribution of approximately $372 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. government in connection with the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) fraud scheme.”
“In this distribution, payments will be sent to 27,219 victims across the globe, bringing their total recovery to 88.35%. The total amount distributed now exceeds $4 billion to more than 40,000 victims as compensation for losses they suffered from the collapse of BLMIS,” the DOJ stated.
“The Criminal Division is proud to continue providing compensation to victims through the largest remission process the Department has overseen,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The billions distributed worldwide is a testament to the department’s sustained efforts to ensure justice for the victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.”
When asked by Arnett if he and his family had received back any of the funds they had lost, Bacon was less forthcoming, saying it was nothing close to what they’d lost but adding, “I think people will be, not happy to hear me whining about money.”
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