French L'Oreal heiress denounces daughter's legal battle

Bettencourt, France's richest woman, was attacking a renewed bid by her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, to have a judge declare her incompetent to manage her own affairs.

Her daughter has alleged that her 87-year-old mother is subject to the undue influence of photographer Francois-Marie Banier, to whom she has given gifts worth nearly a billion euros.

"I am at once pained and vexed for I say to myself how, after so many years, someone who has lived close to me has such petty reactions at that," Bettencourt told France 3 television on Wednesday.

Denouncing her daughter's "vile doggedness," she said: "My daughter could have waited patiently for my death instead of doing all she can to precipitate it."

Bettencourt also said she had asked her financial adviser to launch an "independent audit" of the companies that manage her wealth.

The octogenarian heiress said her daughter was surrounded by a bad circle who were provoking her against her mother and said she was being subjected to repeated "harassment."

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