X

The World's Richest Woman Is Dead at 94

Liliane Bettencourt was worth an estimated $39.5B
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 21, 2017 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oreal cosmetics heiress and the world's richest woman, has died at her home in a chic Parisian suburb. She was 94. Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, said in a written statement Thursday that her mother "left peacefully" overnight in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Liliane Bettencourt was the only child of Eugene Schueller, who founded L'Oreal in the early 20th century. Forbes magazine estimated her fortune to be worth $39.5 billion this year. Liliane Bettencourt inherited the L'Oreal fortune upon the death of her father in 1957. When the company went public six years later, she continued to own a majority stake, reports the AP.

story continues below

Bettencourt's name has been involved in a politico-financial scandal known in France as the "Bettencourt Affair," which has wound its way through French courts and newspapers for years. The case stemmed from a 2007 complaint filed by Bettencourt's daughter accusing one of her mother's closest friends, the photographer Francois-Marie Banier, of manipulating the elderly widow into giving him artwork and cash. In 2015, a French court handed Banier a three-year prison sentence on charges of swindling millions of euros from Bettencourt by taking advantage of her weak mental state. The court acquitted a former ally of former President Nicolas Sarkozy in the case. Born in 1922 in Paris, she married French politician Andre Bettencourt at the age of 27; he died in 2007. She is survived by her daughter, Francoise, who was born in 1953. (Read more Liliane Bettencourt stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X