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.

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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:

photo - dno1967b

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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