L'Oreal heiress needs guardian - paper

Updated: 2011-06-14 20:42


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PARIS - Doctors have recommended that a guardian be appointed to manage the affairs of 88-year-old L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose fortune is subject to a long-running legal feud, a French newspaper said on Tuesday.

Le Monde daily cited medical assessments that were carried out in November and filed with a French court last month as saying that Bettencourt, Europe's richest woman, was suffering a "degeneration in her mental and physical faculties".

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal declined to comment on the report, which was confirmed by lawyers for the billionaire's daughter, Francoise Meyers-Bettencourt, who has been trying to have her mother declared a ward of court.

Meyers-Bettencourt alleged last year that her mother was being swindled by a friend, society photographer Francois-Marie Banier.

The dispute has raised questions over the long-term solidity of the Bettencourts as core shareholders in L'Oreal and sparked a political funding investigations in France last year.

Mother and daughter said in December they had buried the hatchet, ending a three-year estrangement. But their fight flared up again last week when Meyers-Bettencourt said her mother continued to be manipulated by members of her entourage.

"She (Bettencourt) should be provided with some sort of protection in her everyday acts, both personal and regarding the management of her fortune, such as a reinforced guardianship," the doctors wrote in their report, according to Le Monde.

A lawyer working for Meyers-Bettencourt told Reuters: "We confirm what's been said (in Le Monde) and we are not making any further comment."



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