Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (August 8, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101984473
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101984475
One of this summer’s juiciest reads, The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris by Tom Sancton, on shelves now! This book has it all—political intrigue, family drama, upstairs-downstairs rivalries, and scandals of the rich and famous. It proves, as Town & Country put it, “that truth is stranger—or at least makes better poolside reading.”

Sancton’s narrative is the first book on the scandal dubbed “French Watergate” for American audiences. A long-time Paris bureau chief at Time and frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, Sancton is the perfect person to tell this story—he has not only lived in Paris for nearly a decade closely following this case, but he interviewed sixty people closely involved, including the man at the center of it all—Francois-Marie Banier.

Below is a brief summary of the amazing story told in The Bettencourt Affair:

It all began when Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oreal fortune, met François-Marie Banier, an artist and photographer who was, in his youth, the toast of Paris and a protégé of Salvador Dalí. Over the next two decades, Banier was given hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts, cash, and insurance policies by Liliane. Their relationship wasn’t clear, least of all to Liliane’s daughter, who became suspicious of Banier’s motives and filed a lawsuit against him. But Banier has a far different story to tell...

What started as a family drama quickly became a massive scandal, uncovering L’Oréal’s shadowy corporate history and buried World War II secrets. All of Paris, from the servant quarters to the office of President Sarkozy, was shaken by the