SHOWTIME: Ever larger than life, the Bettencourt affair is taking another spin on stage.
Starting Nov. 19, the Théâtre National Populaire in Villeurbanne, France, will put on a production by Michel Vinaver called “Bettencourt Boulevard” based on the yearslong saga that has at its core 92-year-old L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and photographer François-Marie Banier.
The story dates back to December 2007, when Bettencourt’s daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers brought a lawsuit against Banier. She alleged he exploited the weakness of her mother, who gave him assets valued at around 1 billion euros, or $1.09 billion at current exchange. The case took various twists and turns, morphing even into a state issue.
In the upcoming TNP production, Francine Bergé will play Bettencourt.
It’s not the first time the Bettencourt affair has been made into a play. One rendition already hit the stage of Paris’ Théâtre Saint-Georges in early 2011.
“Bettencourt Boulevard” will next move to Paris in January 2016.
Meanwhile, verdicts in the real-life Bettencourt case — most recently involving a five-week trial that began earlier this year — will be handed down in the criminal court of Bordeaux, France, on May 28.