Police search L'Oreal heiress' home

12th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police searched the home of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt on Monday as President Nicolas Sarkozy prepared to address allegations of illegal donations from France's richest woman in a TV interview.

Police from the financial crimes unit turned up at Bettencourt's villa in the chic Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine on Monday, officials close to the probe told AFP.

They also searched the Paris apartment of her friend, celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who is accused by Bettencourt's daughter of making millions by taking advantage of the 87-year-old billionaire's frailty.

Sarkozy was to appear on television on Monday to try to defuse a scandal over allegations that Bettencourt made illegal donations to his 2007 campaign through his fundraiser and now labour minister Eric Woerth.

Woerth has strenuously denied the allegations and Sarkozy has suggested they are part of a smear campaign.

© 2010 AFP

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