The trial of a celebrity photographer accused of defrauding France’s richest woman has been postponed after the emergence of secret tapes recorded by her butler.
Francois-Marie Banier is alleged to have tricked 87-year-old Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune, out of one billion euros.
The case was brought by Bettencourt’s daughter, who claims 63-year-old socialite Banier exploited her mentally-weak mother.
Lawyers want more time to study the recordings, in which the cosmetics magnate appears confused as she speaks with her financial adviser.
Liliane Bettencourt is the sole heiress of L’Oreal, the global shampoo and beauty products company that her father founded.
Forbes magazine ranks her as the 17th richest person worldwide with an estimated net worth of 17 billion euros.