PARIS — Liliane Bettencourt, the 87-year-old daughter of L’Oréal’s founder, stated Monday that she would proceed with the “regularization” of all her familial assets that are abroad in collaboration with the French tax administration.
“It deals notably with an old account that we possessed in Switzerland and that I transferred to a life-insurance policy benefitting one of my grandsons,” she said in a statement.
The news comes in the wake of a hand-over to police last week of secretly recorded discussions between Bettencourt and her advisers. According to some transcripts of the tapes circulating in the French press, Bettencourt has two Swiss bank accounts containing tens of millions of euros.
In another turn of events, Florence Woerth, who oversees part of Bettencourt’s finances through the family holding company Clymène, is reportedly stepping down soon from her role there. Woerth is the wife of France’s labor minister Eric Woerth.
A spokesman at the labor ministry could not be reached for comment.
As reported, Bettencourt lodged a complaint for “infringement of privacy,” “theft” and “false testimony” on Friday in the public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, France.
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.
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 $1.23 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.