RISING SON: Jean-Victor Meyers — the 25-year-old grandson of Liliane Bettencourt, who is to replace her on the board of L’Oréal next month — is a budding fashion entrepreneur. In February, he set up a Paris-based company, Exemplaire SAS, involved in the making of apparel, according to the latest issue of M, Le Monde’s weekend magazine, which scored an extensive interview with Bettencourt’s daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. The article also details that Jean-Victor Meyers interned at the Louis Vuitton boutique on Avenue Montaigne, and that Exemplaire intends to expand into leather goods.
“It was tough, yes,” Bettencourt Meyers confesses in the seven-page feature, referring to her long-running and very public legal battle over her mother’s mental facilities. The saga began in December 2007 when she brought a lawsuit against photographer François-Marie Banier, alleging he exploited the weakness of Bettencourt, who gave him assets valued at about 1 billion euros, or $1.32 billion at current exchange.
This story first appeared in the March 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the interview, Bettencourt Meyers expresses relief that the guardianship judge of Courbevoie, France, recently placed her mother under the protection of Jean-Victor Meyers. “If (the judge) had chosen someone from outside the family, we would have risked a third act in this crazy story,” she said, noting that relations with her mother have returned to normal. “She is serene, relaxed.”
The heiress also addresses recurrent speculation that family members could sell their stake to Nestlé, the second largest shareholder in L’Oréal. “These accusations are unbearable! And totally groundless. There is a perfect continuity in the family’s attachment to L’Oréal across generations.”