PARIS — Liliane Bettencourt, the 87-year-old daughter of L’Oréal’s founder, lodged a complaint for “infringement of privacy,” “theft” and “false” testimony” on Friday in the public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, France.
This story first appeared in the June 21, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A preliminary inquiry for “infringement of privacy” was opened early last week after police received from Bettencourt’s daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, what are reportedly 21 hours of secretly recorded discussions — spanning one year — between Bettencourt and her advisers.
Bettencourt’s butler, who allegedly made the clandestine recordings, and the technician said to have transferred them to CD-ROMs were each held in police custody for 48 hours.
As reported, Bettencourt Meyers brought a lawsuit against the photographer François-Marie Banier in December 2007, alleging Banier’s “exploitation of weakness” of Bettencourt, who gave him assets valued at approximately 1 billion euros, or $1.24 billion at current exchange. Bettencourt, meanwhile, argues she is sound and acting on her own free will. A court in Nanterre will hold a hearing in the case pitting Bettencourt Meyers against Banier on July 1, 2, 5 and 6.