The daughter of Europe's richest woman has asked that her mother be placed under judicial supervision, BBC News reported.
Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, 56, insists that her 87-year-old mother's lavish gifts to a friend -- totaling about $1.5 billion -- raise serious questions about her state of mind.
Liliane Bettencourt's fortune derives from her sizable stake in cosmetics giant L'Oreal. In 2009, Forbes estimated her worth at $13.4 billion, and declared her the 21st richest person on the planet.
Such wealth would seem to be virtually inexhaustible. But over the last few years, said the BBC, Bettencourt has showered huge quantities of money and gifts upon Francois-Marie Banier, a 62-year-old photographer and artist.
Bettencourt-Meyers has pressed charges against Banier, accusing him of manipulating her elderly mother and treating the cosmetics heiress as a human ATM. That case will come to court next week, said the BBC.
If convicted, Banier could serve up to three years in prison, said The New York Times. The charge is what the French call "abus de faiblesse" -- the exploitation of physical or psychological weakness for personal gain.
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