PARIS — The criminal investigation into France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy in the Bettencourt affair was dismissed Monday by a Bordeaux, France-based court.
“In deciding to dismiss the case, the court has declared me innocent in the Bettencourt dossier,” wrote Sarkozy on his Facebook page Monday evening. “Two-and-a-half years of investigation. Three judges. Dozens of police. Twenty-two hours of questioning and confrontations. Four searches. Hundreds of articles calling into question my integrity during the presidential campaign. It’s therefore the price to pay so truth is finally established.”
At that time, the medical expertise — involving doctors’ reports that 90-year-old Bettencourt’s dementia was established by late 2006 — were validated, as well.
The Bettencourt saga began in December 2007, when Bettencourt’s daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers brought a lawsuit against photographer François-Marie Banier. She alleged he exploited the weakness of her mother, who gave him assets valued at about 1 billion euros, or $1.36 billion at current exchange.
The family affair has subsequently taken innumerable twists and turns, blossoming into an affair of state in July 2010 when an allegation surfaced that Eric Woerth, while serving in 2007 as France’s budget minister and treasurer for Sarkozy’s UMP party, received a campaign donation for Sarkozy from the Bettencourts that was well above the legal limit. It was also reported that Sarkozy had received envelopes of cash from the family.
Bettencourt in October 2011 was placed under legal guardianship of her grandson, Jean-Victor Meyers. That status remains unchanged.
The court decision does not impact the Bettencourt family’s relationship with L’Oréal, in which it holds a 30.5 percent stake, either. Meyers replaced his grandmother on the company’s board in April 2012.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)