White-Collar Wives: What It's Like to Lose It All

"The odd signs that I was noticing in the marriage, they could have been that he was having an affair or a drinking problem," she said. "So ... in my situation there was no one indication that he might have been committing crimes. However, I would caution women to pay attention to how the finances are being kept in a marriage -- and I wasn't."

Karen's life changed when David pleaded guilty to stealing millions from investors. She drove him to prison, and when she returned home her new reality set in.

"I can't even pick up the phone and call my husband ... he's gone, he's vanished and that's when it really hit me and I actually became very angry," she said. "How could you do this? How could you do this to your family and leave us like this?"

Still, Karen tried to keep her family together, even visiting David behind bars with their three boys.

"I remember one visit to the jail and my baby was crying and needed to be fed," she said, "and the guard showed up right in front of me straight away and escorted me straight out and into a concrete bathroom, and I had to sit on the floor of a concrete bathroom and breastfeed my baby in the middle of prison, and I couldn't believe it. ... How can you go any lower than that?" Her marriage ended and her social status vanished.

"In the school corridors, the people I had dined with and traveled with and were friends with for a very long time would just literally walk past me and not say hello any longer," she said. "It was like wearing a scarlet letter. And yet I hadn't committed the act. Unfortunately the friends that I had made at that point were friends made in a very material world. And when the money went, so did the friends."

But Karen said she's learned to find happiness without the money.

"I lost a lot, you know, millions of dollars in property, and my reaction was that if you could lose something like this so quickly, then it had no value," she said. "And things that do have value could never be taken so easily. So, things like your integrity, your love for your children, creativity, religion, your education. The capacity to love, those things can never be taken from you."

Weinreb turned her experience into a novel, "The Summer Kitchen." Writing became the ultimate therapy, she said.

"It forced me to put myself in the shoes of the other characters in this story, namely my husband and the people who were turning their backs," Weinreb said. "What motivated my husband to do this, and what motivated those friends to turn their backs?"

The Scrushys are still dealing with prison life, but that hasn't stopped them from also planning their future. Richard is writing a Christian album behind bars, inspired by Leslie.

"Lord, I can't live without you," Richard Scrushy sang. "Such pain we suffer when we're lost. Man leading man is not the answer. Your love and grace, that's all. 'Cuz victory is a choice we make."

Leslie Scrushy said she was standing by her man.

"I've had a suitcase packed for him," she said. "He will come out of this place one day, and I will be here to pick him up. And I can't wait."

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