France’s Richest Woman May be Caught Out by Butler’s Tapes

June 30, 2010

France (ChattahBox) – French media is going insane over the ever-increasing drama of Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in France. It is a story of an old friend receiving a private island, secret Swiss bank accounts, political favors, and the one socialite who is at the center of it all.

According to her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the 87-year-old is frail, and often confused. She claims that her concern began when she learned of a gift of a $1.2 billion island in the Seychelles, which was given to 63-year-old Francois-Marie Banier.

Bettencourt-Meyers is afraid that the man is taking advantage of the L’Oreal heiress, and opened a civil case against him.

But more came to light, as AFP reported.

A butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, says he feared for his job, and so secretly recorded conversations between the socialite and her advisers, using a simple tape recorder when he brought drinks, and leaving it running.

On the tapes, he allegedly captured a conversation about two secret Swiss accounts with several million hidden away, and of a job given to Labour Minister Eric Woerth’s wife, at his request.

The wide implications have led to a much larger criminal investigation than what was originally intended, and Bettencourt may find herself moving from the victim to the villain.


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