PARIS — Liliane Bettencourt, the 87-year-old daughter of L’Oréal’s founder and the company’s single largest shareholder, cut photographer François-Marie Banier out of her will in mid-July, according to the Sunday-Monday edition of Le Monde, which cited her lawyer.
This story first appeared in the August 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It is the latest news to break in the ongoing Bettencourt affair, which began when Bettencourt’s daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, started legal proceedings against Banier in December 2007. She alleges Banier exploited the weakness of Liliane Bettencourt, who had given him assets valued at almost 1 billion euros, or $1.28 billion at current exchange. The case has since had far-flung effects, sending shock waves through even the highest echelons of the French government.
Bettencourt had in her December 2007 will made Banier sole legatee, according to reports. It is estimated he had stood to inherit about 1.25 billion euros, or $1.6 billion. Bettencourt “understood enough was enough and that she had given a lot to Banier,” Bettencourt’s lawyer Georges Kiejman is cited as saying. Kiejman could not be reached for further comment.
Bettencourt has reportedly not named another legatee. Her nearly 31 percent share in L’Oréal has been given to her daughter in bare ownership.