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Bettencourt family at war again

Matthew Warren · 9 Jun 2011, 08:29

Published: 09 Jun 2011 08:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Jun 2011 08:29 GMT+02:00

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After a brief period of peace, hostilities have broken out again in the family of the richest woman in France.

The daughter of the L'Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, is reported by Le Monde to be seeking to have her mother made a ward of court. 


Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, 57, is believed to be concerned that some of her mother's close advisers, in particular her lawyer, are not working in her best interests. Her concern appears to be focused on a €170 million investment made in a company belonging to Stéphane Courbit, the former boss of reality show maker Endemol. Courbit is also a client of Mrs Bettencourt's lawyer, Pascal Wilhelm.


A judge visited 88-year old Mrs Bettencourt at home on Tuesday, accompanied by police and doctors, to assess her state of health, which appears to be worsening. Le Monde has revealed that a legal document in March said that Mrs Bettencourt's state of mind meant she was unable to act in her own interests. She is believed to be worth €17 billion.


In an interview with Le Point, Liliane Bettencourt said she is "sickened" by the actions of her daughter. "It's dreadful what she has done. She won't let this matter rest, but she will end up very unhappy and alone." She feared a "new security cordon" was being put around her to the "detriment of her family."


The two famously fell out in 2007 over Mrs Bettencourt's friendship with photographer François-Marie Banier. Bettencourt Meyers accused Banier of abusing her mother's state of mind and sued him for "abuse of weakness". The mother and daughter agreed a much-publicised truce in December.



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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