TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS: The case of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder, against the photographer François-Marie Banier has taken a new twist. The public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, France, has reportedly shelved its own inquiry into the Bettencourt affair, which began in December 2007, when Bettencourt Meyers lodged a complaint for “exploitation of weakness” of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt. This followed Bettencourt giving Banier gifts of almost 1 billion euros, or $1.48 billion at current exchange. The public prosecutor’s office has reportedly decided there isn’t enough evidence to prove an exploitation of weakness. Meanwhile, this summer, Bettencourt Meyers reportedly cited Banier directly in the Nanterre tribunal in order to speed up the legal process. On Sept. 3, a preliminary hearing took place, and a second one is scheduled for Dec. 11. No one at the court could be reached for comment Tuesday.
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