Even though Dell'Orefice and the Madoffs were longtime friends of some 15 years, she says she is still most angry with herself. She gave Madoff credit, she said, "for being smarter than to be caught in the vice of the world that was tanking."
Now, as the still-working model tries to understand the Madoff that she knew with the Madoff that has emerged, Dell'Orefice said she must forge on, living on social security, a pension from the Screen Actors Guild, and the income she still makes from modeling, even though the fraud scandal has been like a "bad dream."
"My savings are gone," she said. "I'm not gone."
There could be a little good news next week for some of the victims who lost money with Madoff. Ten investors will receive the first of the $500,000 payments from the Securities Investment Protection Corporation, which protects investors in the event of a brokerage firm failure.
"These were the first ten people who submitted what I would call easy claims, in other words, these are people who deposited money into the Madoff scam but never withdrew anything," said Stephen Harbeck, President of SIPC.
Over 2,350 claims from angry investors have been filed and that number could soon double. So far the claims add up to around $1 billion. The deadline to submit a claim is July 2, 2009.
On Friday, the Associated Press reported that SIPC sent out the first checks to two investors.