File image: The world's richest woman at the time of her death, 94-year-old deceased Liliane Bettencourt.(AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)
File image: The world's richest woman at the time of her death, 94-year-old deceased Liliane Bettencourt.(AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)
File image - L'Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt. A French tax lawyer was charged with swindling the country's richest woman by getting her to hand over a private island in the Seychelles to him. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
File image - L'Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt. A French tax lawyer was charged with swindling the country's richest woman by getting her to hand over a private island in the Seychelles to him. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
File image - In this March 29, 2012 file photo, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt leaves the L'Oreal-UNESCO prize for the women in science, in Paris, France. L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt has died at the age of 94 at her home, her family announced. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
File image - In this March 29, 2012 file photo, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt leaves the L'Oreal-UNESCO prize for the women in science, in Paris, France. L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt has died at the age of 94 at her home, her family announced. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
File image: Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, right, the estranged daughter of Liliane Bettencourt, and her son Jean-Victor leave the courtroom after the verdict in the trial of ten people charged with exploiting L'Oreal heiress, at the courthouse in Bordeaux. Picture: Frederic Scheiber
File image: Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, right, the estranged daughter of Liliane Bettencourt, and her son Jean-Victor leave the courtroom after the verdict in the trial of ten people charged with exploiting L'Oreal heiress, at the courthouse in Bordeaux. Picture: Frederic Scheiber

CAPE TOWN - We take a look at the world's richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt who passed away yesterday, at her home in Paris. The LÓreal heir encountered interesting events within her life, we reveal them below. 

Bettencourt is the world's richest woman, with an estimated fortune of ($39.5 billion ) R520.1 billion. 

THE FACT SHEET: 

1. Liliane Henriette Charlotte Bettencourt (nee Schueller), French heiress, socialite and businesswoman and one of the principal shareholders of multinational cosmetics company, L'Oreal. 

2. Bettencourt was born on 21 October 1922 in Paris, France and passed away yesterday at her home in Paris, at the age of 94. 

3. At the time of her death (21 September 2017), she was the world's richest woman and fourteenth richest person in the world. 

4. Liliane was the only child of Louise Madeleine Berthe (née Doncieux) and Eugène Schueller, the founder of one of the world's largest cosmetics company,  L'Oreal. She joined the cosmetics company at the age of 15, with the role of mixing cosmetics and labeling bottles of shampoo. 

5. Twenty years later and after her father's death, Bettencourt became the owner of L'Oreal. She was 35 at the time of inheriting the L'Oreal fortune. 

6. In 1963, the company went public. Liliane then took a major business leap and traded nearly half of her stake in L'Oreal for a 3% stake in Nestle, for fear of her company being nationalised. 

7. Bettencourt was a member of the French fascist-leaning and anti-communist group, La Cagoule who used violence to promote its activities from 1935-1941. La Cagoule was funded by Liliane's father in the 1930s. 

8. Liliane married French politician, André Bettencourt in 1950 with whom she had one daughter,  Françoise (born in 1953). 

9. Her relationship with French novelist, playwright, artist, actor and photographer, François-Marie Banier stirred much controversy. Notably, Banier was 25 years Liliane's junior. They met in 1987 when he was commissioned to photograph her for the French magazine Egoiste.

10. Bettencourt became Banier's benefactor, endowing him with gifts estimated to be worth $1.3 billion (R17.1 billion). The gifts include: 

-  a life insurance policy worth €253 million (R3 billion) in 2003

- another life insurance policy worth €262 million (R4.1 billion) in 2006

- 11 works of art in 2001 valued at €20 million (R316 million) , including paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Delaunay and Léger and a photograph by surrealist Man Ray. 

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