“We are making an assessment of the full extent of the losses,” Fields said yesterday in an interview. “We aren’t doing anything yet but we’re meeting with accountants to find out where everything leads.”
The 91-year-old actress and her ninth husband, Frederic von Anhalt, invested with Madoff through a Los Angeles-based money manager that Fields declined to identify. The money manager never told the couple about Madoff or explained the risks, Fields said. The attorney said he is representing five clients who together lost as much as $35 million. He declined to name the others.
Gabor joins a growing list of Hollywood stars and notables whose losses to Madoff have become public, including director Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg and actor Kevin Bacon.
Madoff was arrested on Dec. 11 after allegedly confessing to federal investigators that he ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
Von Anhalt said in an interview yesterday that he and Gabor may face financial ruin. They could be forced to sell artwork, jewelry and their home in the Los Angeles enclave of Bel-Air, von Anhalt said. The National Enquirer reported the losses earlier.
“It’s a big hole, you know,” von Anhalt said. “We didn’t expect that. When you count on the returns, you depend on the money. It’s bad. You go to get your money back and all you have is a bunch of worthless papers.”
The financial burden is also taking a physical toll on the couple, von Anhalt said.
“My wife is close to a heart attack and I’m close to a nervous breakdown,” von Anhalt said.
Federal authorities have charged Madoff, 70, with securities fraud for allegedly using billions of dollars from new investors to pay off older ones.
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles lost $18 million, or less than 5 percent of its assets, the charity said on Dec. 15. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles lost $6.4 million, part of the foundation’s pool.
Bacon and his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, lost an undisclosed sum, the actor’s publicist, Allen Eichhorn, said in an e-mail.
Gabor was born in Budapest in 1917 as Sari Gabor, according to the Internet Movie Database. The former Miss Hungary followed her sister Eva Gabor to Hollywood and began appearing on television shows and doing an occasional movie including 1957’s “Moulin Rouge.”
“If I was in New York I would take a baseball stick and hit this terrible man over the head,” von Anhalt said.