> Skip to content

Was the world’s wealthiest woman—Liliane Bettencourt—heir to an estimated thirty-six-billion-dollar L’Oréal fortune, the victim of a con man? Or were her own family the real villains? This riveting narrative tells the real-life, shocking story behind the cause célèbre that has captivated both France and the world.

Liliane Bettencourt is the world’s richest woman and the eleventh wealthiest person on the planet, as of 2016. But at ninety-four, she’s embroiled in an incredible controversy that has dominated the headlines and ensnared a former president of France in the controversy. Why? Thanks to an artist and photographer named François-Marie Banier, who was given hundreds of millions of dollars by Liliane. Liliane’s daughter, Françoise, considers Banier a con man and filed a lawsuit against him, but Banier has a far different story to tell. It’s all become Europe’s biggest scandal in years, uncovering a shadowy corporate history, buried World War II secrets, illicit political payoffs, and much more.

Written by Tom Sancton, a Vanity Fair contributor and former Time correspondent currently living in France, The Bettencourt Affair is part courtroom drama; part upstairs-downstairs tale; part business narrative of a glamorous global company with past Nazi connections; and part character-driven story of a complex, fascinating family and the intruder who nearly tore it apart.

Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781101984475

    October 30, 2017

    Dutton

    400 pages

    RRP $44.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Recommendations

Ned Kelly
A Galaxy of Her Own
John Curtin's War
Pablo Escobar
Losing My Virginity
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
Make Your Bed:Small things that can change your life... and maybe the world
Leila's Secret
The People Smuggler: The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi
Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing
The Undoing Project
A Fortunate Life
The Cat with the Giant Story
The Diary Of A Young Girl
Sticky Fingers
Boy
My Family and Other Animals: Popular Penguins
For the Glory
Spymaster
An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945