Bestselling Author Alexandra Penney Got Madoffed

Posted on January 13, 2009

Bestselling self-help author Alexandra Penney has lost her life savings in the Madoff financial scandal that has rocked the investment world. Investment consultant Bernard Madoff recently revealed that his entire investment business was a Ponzi scheme. When investors started withdrawing money because of the recession, he knew the gig was up. Fifty billion dollars of investors' money was stolen by Madoff, who is under house arrest in New York. Penney is best known for her 1982 book How to Make Love to a Man.

On the advice of her lawyers, Penney is not saying how much money she lost. She's not penniless, she says. She has a checking account that will last a few months, a West Palm Beach cottage, a Manhattan apartment and a "beach shack" in Wainscott, Long Island. Over the past 40 years, she earned and paid for all of it herself.

Penney is not asking anyone to feel sorry for her, especially after the acid-response to her first-hand account of her financial woes in a blog called "The Bag Lady Papers" on In the blog, she talks about selling the cottage and possibly more real estate and taking her first subway ride in 30 years. She's even considered selling some of her expensive jewelry to pay the bills. Some readers blasted her as a privileged New York princess. They told her to get a job. Others said they didn't feel sorry for her. Penney says she was surprised by the "vitriol."

We hope Alexandra ignores the vitriol of those anonymous posters. She earned every dollar she made in her life by working hard: it's absolutely vile that she was defrauded. You can read Alexandra's blog about being Madoffed on

More from Writers Write