L'Oreal heiress suffering from Alzheimer's: report

17th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Billionaire L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, 88, is suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease, newspaper Le Monde quoted a medical report as saying Monday ahead of a ruling on her mental state.

A court was due to rule Monday on a request by her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers to place the heiress, who is at the centre of a very public feud inside one of France's richest families, under guardianship.

The report, which is to be used by the court, reveals that Bettencourt is suffering from "mixed dementia" and "moderately severe" Alzheimer's disease, Le Monde reported on its website.

It concludes that Bettencourt "suffers from cognitive difficulties evidenced by temporal disorientation, memory problems, reasoning difficulties and aphasic elements," Le Monde quoted the report as saying.

The report said Bettencourt "presents with Alzheimer's disease at a moderately severe level with a possible vascular participation" and that she is in the midst of a "slow and progressive process of cerebral degeneration."

Bettencourt-Meyers has argued that her mother is mentally unfit to manage France's largest private fortune, estimated at 16 billion euros ($20 billion).

In an interview published in Sunday's Journal du Dimanche, Bettencourt threatened to leave France if her daughter manages to place her under her guardianship.

"If it's that, I will go abroad. If my daughter looks after me I would feel stifled. If it's her, I will leave," she said.

Bettencourt-Meyers has alleged people close to her mother, including celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier, took advantage of the heiress.

Banier was Bettencourt's sole named beneficiary in a will drawn up in December 2007. But Bettencourt broke with Banier earlier this year, cutting him out of her will and depriving him of an estimated 1.25 billion euros.

Mother and daughter have been involved in legal battles for three years.

© 2011 AFP

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