NEW YORK - The financial whirlpool created by Bernard Madoff continued to churn yesterday as the price tag of liquidating his old firm rose, and duped investors including the actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick struggled to accurately estimate how much they lost.

A publicist for the celebrity couple confirmed that they were among the unlikely victims of what Madoff, according to the FBI, has described as a giant Ponzi scheme. The spokesman, Allen Eichhorn, wouldn't say how much of their savings were gone.

Madoff himself has pegged the losses at $50 billion, but details of who lost what remain unclear.

Meanwhile, one part of the cost of cleaning up after Madoff's collapsed firm also came into clearer focus.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Tuesday approved the transfer of $28.1 million to cover expenses tied to the liquidation of Madoff's investment firm.

Irving Picard, the trustee presiding over the liquidation, said that he needed the $28.1 million to cover employee salaries and other costs, according to court documents. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. previously agreed to transfer the funds, but Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland first had to approve the transfer. *