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LES ECHOS

Bettencourt Family Drama: Doctors Say L’Oreal Heiress Too Ill To Manage Finances

Le Monde reveals new medical report that recommends a strengthened guardianship for billionaire Bettencourt, 88, who has been battling with her daugther over the family fortune.

L'Oréal's multi-billion fortune is at stake.
L'Oréal's multi-billion fortune is at stake.

Worldcrunch NEWS BITES

PARIS - In a court-ordered medical appraisal, doctors are urging rigid guardianship for L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt due to deterioration of her health and mental faculties, Le Monde has learned.

If upheld, the conclusion would be a victory for the lawyers of the billionaire's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers. Her attorneys say Liliane Bettencourt is being "clearly manipulated" by her entourage.

Mother and daughter have been in a very public spat for the past three years (though they briefly reconciled in December) after Bettencourt-Meyers accused a French photographer of taking advantage of her mother, and trying to be made the sole heir to her 15 billion-euro fortune.

Three medical experts cited in the last report judged that Liliane Bettencourt was suffering "cerebral illness," concluding: "She must be allowed to benefit from a measure of protection for civil acts, whether they concern her properties or personal affairs, of a strengthened guardianship type."

Commissioned in November 2010, the medical appraisal was due on June 15, but its conclusions were communicated to Stéphanie Kass-Danno, guardianship judge in Courbevoie (Hauts de Seine), on May 27, and a few days later to the Bordeaux judge Jean-Michel Gentil.

Under the recommended status of strengthened guardianship, the guardian alone manages the person's revenues and assures payments to third parties. This set-up would ensure strict supervision of the finances of Bettencourt, France's richest woman, and only child of the founder of L'Oréal.

Read the full article By Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhommeat:

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