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Liliane BETTENCOURT

Primary Position:
Shareholder
Primary Company:
L'Oreal Group
Estimated Net Worth:
At least $8.4 billion
Source of Wealth:
Inheritance/Self-made
Age:
94
Birthday:
21 October 1922
Religion:
Unknown
Nationality:
France
Hometown:
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Marital Status:
Widowed

Biography

Bettencourt's late father Eugene Schueller discovered a hair-color formula which he named "Oreale" in 1907. He later began manufacturing his own products and sold them to Parisian hairdressers. In 1909, he registered his company, "Societe Francaise de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux", presently the L'Oreal Group. French native, heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist Liliane Bettencourt was born in 1922. Joined her father's business at the age of 15; initially was an Apprentice of Mixing Cosmetics and Labeling Bottles of Shampoo. Married French politician Andre Bettencourt ...

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Education History

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Interesting Facts

Bettencourt's daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers sued celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who was friends with Bettencourt, in December 2007 for allegedly exploiting her mother's weakness and taking gifts from her including cash and artworks worth $1.2 billion. Bettencourt was declared unfit to manage her own affairs in 2011 after a medical report showed she suffered from "mixed dementia" and "moderately severe" Alzheimer's disease since 2006. In June 2010, Bettencourt was reportedly involved in a political scandal after tape recordings were leaked by her ex-butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, who recorded conversations between Bettencourt and her financial advisor Patrice de Maistre, which suggested Bettencourt may have evaded taxes by keeping substantial amounts of cash in undeclared Swiss bank accounts. The tapes also allegedly captured a conversation between Bettencourt and then Labour Minister Eric Woerth, who was soliciting a job for his wife managing Bettencourt's wealth. Woerth had consequently approved a $39 million tax rebate for Bettencourt, even though the government had not examined her finances for more than 10 years. In 2013, a corruption trial of 10 people began for accusing and trying to defraud Bettencourt. The allegations took a wider turn when Bettencourt's former accountant, Claire Thibout, alleged conservative French politicians, including Woerth and Nicolas Sarkozy, were frequently given cash-filled envelopes at Bettencourt's mansion. In 2007, Sarkozy, who was running a presidential election campaign, had received donations from Bettencourt in return for her tax breaks. However, the charges against Sarkozy were dropped due to lack of evidence in October 2013. In January 2015, one of the defendants, Bettencourt's nurse Alain Thurin, who forced Bettencourt to designate him as the beneficiary of $11.4 million in the event of her death, had tried to hang himself in Paris, France. In May, eight people, including Banier, de Maistre and his successor Pascal Wilhelm, were convicted of exploiting Bettencourt. Banier was sentenced to six years in prison and was ordered to pay a fine of $380,000 and more than $150 million in damages. de Maistre and Wilhelm were sentenced to 30 months in prison and fines of more than $270,000. In October 2015, Thurin was found not guilty of manipulating her into giving him the money. He also told the court that he had grown close to Bettencourt and never wanted her money and the $11.4 million endowment to Thurin was removed from her will.

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Interests, Passion, Hobbies

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Philanthropy
Description: Co-founded the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation with her husband and daughter.

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Fashion
Description: Served as an Apprentice of Mixing Cosmetics and Labeling Bottles of Shampoo at the L'Oreal Group.

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Art
Description: Reportedly owns artworks by renowned artists including Chirico, Fernand Leger, Picasso, Girodet, Matisse, Munch, Juan Miro and Braque.

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Philanthropy

Giving Profile: Founded the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation with her late husband, Andre Bettencourt and daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers in 1987. The foundation devotes approximately 55% of its funds to scientific education and research, 33% to humanitarian and social projects and 12% to culture and arts. In 2011, Bettencourt reportedly donated $14 million to the Institut de France.

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