Published: Thu, September 21, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Liliane Bettencourt, World's Richest Woman and L'Oreal Heiress, Dies Aged 94

Liliane Bettencourt, World's Richest Woman and L'Oreal Heiress, Dies Aged 94

Regularly named France's richest person and for years the wealthiest woman in the world thanks to her L'Oreal inheritance, Liliane Bettencourt lived her life surrounded by the scent of money, politics and more than a touch of scandal.

Liliane Bettencourt was the only child of Eugene Schueller, who founded L'Oreal in the early 20th century.

"In this painful moment for us, I would like to reiterate, on behalf of our family, our entire commitment and loyalty to L'Oreal and to renew my confidence in its President Jean-Paul Agon and his teams worldwide", Bettencourt-Myers said.

The one-time society beauty died in Paris during Wednesday night at the age of 94, her daughter Francoise said in an email.

Both Forbes and the Bloomberg Billionaire Index considered Bettencourt the world's richest woman.

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"Born in 1922 in Paris, she married French politician Andre Bettencourt at the age of 27".

In 2008 Bettencourt-Meyers, who is on the L'Oreal board, filed a lawsuit against her mother over funds the magnate had given to a celebrity photographer and confidant.

L'Oreal is one of the world's biggest cosmetics group with almost 90,000 employees in 140 countries and sales of 25.84 billion euros in 2016. When the company went public six years later, she continued to own a majority stake. The statement issued by her family states she "died in peace".

The complex legal case involved a bitter feud with her only daughter and unscrupulous friends, and even dragged in former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The charges against Sarkozy were dropped in October 2013 due to lack of evidence.

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