Friday, August 28, 2009
- Bettencourt met Fracois-Marie Banier, a celebrity photograher, over 20 years ago.
- Although estimates differ, Bettencourt appears to have given Banier at least $1.35 billion dollars through gifts, by naming him the beneficiary of life insurance policies, and by promising him artworks upon her death since meeting him.
- Bettencourt's daughter prompted an investigation of Banier when she filed a criminal complaint alleging that Banier was manipulating her mother for financial gain.
- Bettencourt, who is 86, has refused the investigating judge's request for neurological examinations and has asked the French president to intervene.
- Banier will soon face criminal exploitation charges in a French court.
For more information, see Doreen Carvajal, Generous to a Fault?, NY Times, Aug. 21, 2009.