Stat of the day: €16bn

The fortune accrued by L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, who has just been put under the guardianship of her family after concerns about her mental health.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

It’s the stuff of Hollywood tragedy: Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oréal heiress and France's wealthiest woman, has finally lost a long-standing family tug-of-war over control of her fortune.

A Paris judge ruled that Bettencourt was to be put under the guardianship of members of her family, following concerns about Bettencourt’s mental health. Her estranged daughter, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, along with two grandsons, will now control her estimated €16bn fortune.

Françoise started the legal battle two years ago after concerns her mother had become the target of fortune hunters. But Ms Bettencourt recently told a French newspaper it would be her ‘worst nightmare’ to be placed under the control of her daughter. ‘If my daughter was in charge of me, I would suffocate...I would have no more desire to live,’ she said. So much for keeping it in the family…

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