L’Oreal heiress accuses daughter of wanting to lock her up

Billionaire L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt said on Wednesday that her daughter wanted to lock her up, the latest volley in the duo's tortuous war of words and lawsuits.

“It is with stupor that I read that my daughter thinks that my entourage has deprived me of my liberty,” the 88-year-old heiress said in a letter obtained by AFP.

“It is she who is seeking to lock me up, with her actions aiming to place me under guardianship and away from those close to me,” she said.

“In her request, my daughter wants to prevent me from travelling, from expressing myself freely and from living according to my wishes,” she wrote.

In the latest twist to a very public family feud inside one of France’s richest families, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers this week once again asked the court to place her mother under guardianship.

Bettencourt-Meyers has argued that her mother is mentally unfit to manage France’s largest private fortune estimated at €16 billion ($20 billion).

A judge in a Courbevoie court near Paris is expected to issue a ruling on the request on October 17th.

The elder Bettencourt’s lawyer warned in an interview that the heiress was ready for “nuclear war” with her daughter and has asked her lawyers to revoke a reconciliation that the duo struck last year.

“I saw Liliane Bettencourt on Friday, and she is in favour of nuclear war, but we are waiting a bit before taking action,” Jean-Rene Farthouat told France’s Journal du Dimanche.

Bettencourt-Meyers has alleged people close to her mother, including celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier, took advantage of the heiress, who she claimed was no longer in a fit mental state to manage her fortune.

Banier was Bettencourt’s sole named beneficiary in the will drawn up in December 2007.

But Bettencourt broke with Banier earlier this year, cutting him out of her will and depriving him of an estimated €1.25 billion.

Mother and daughter have been involved in legal battles for three years.

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L’Oreal drops trans model over controversial comments

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal on Friday confirmed it had dropped a British transgender model over comments the company deemed "at odds with our values," after she was hired as part of a diversity campaign.

L'Oreal drops trans model over controversial comments
File photo: AFP

“L'Oreal champions diversity,” the beauty brand said on Twitter. “Comments by Munroe Bergdorf are at odds with our values and so we have decided to end our partnership with her”.

L'Oreal had tapped Bergdorf — a 29-year-old model, DJ and trans activist whose father is Jamaican — as one of the five newest faces of its #allworthit campaign to introduce the five new shades of its True Match face makeup.

The foundation make-up boasts 28 unique shades ranging from very light to dark brown in a bid to match the myriad different skin tones and textures of people worldwide.

According to British Vogue, Bergdorf was the first transgender woman to be featured in a L'Oreal Paris UK campaign.

But controversy erupted when Bergdorf took to Facebook in a now-deleted post to react to events in the US city of Charlottesville, where a woman was killed on August 12th after an avowed white supremacist rammed his car into a group of anti-racism counter-protesters.

“Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” Bergdorf wrote, according to copies posted in British media.

“Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk,” the model reportedly wrote.

L'Oreal told British media it “remains committed to celebrating diversity and breaking down barriers in beauty”.

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