The Richest Woman in the World

Although she is far from the richest person in the world, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is still doing fine for herself. As the richest woman in the world, she has an estimated net worth of almost $100 billion and has been on the Forbes World Billionaires List for 3 years now. The heiress to the L’Oréal fortune, inherited these riches from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, who passed away in 2017 after years of drama. Much of the scandal of this wealth transfer revolved around Liliane's relationship with a French photographer named François-Marie Banier. The two met during a photo shoot for Egoiste magazine in 1987. The two became close friends, and Bettencourt became Banier's primary benefactor. In the following years, Liliane Bettencourt presented Banier with lavish gifts, including famous paintings, multi million-dollar life insurance policies, and large sums of cash — all estimated at a value nearing $1.3 billion. This relationship fell under scrutiny as Bettencourt's physical and mental condition wavered. Françoise accused Banier of manipulating her mother and filed a criminal complaint. In 2015, Banier was convicted of "abuse of weakness," and Meyers was awarded custody over her mother and the L’Oréal fortune. She is rarely seen at society events and only attends large dinner parties when the event is related to a professional interest. As the French say, pour vivre heureux, vivons caches — to live happily, live hidden.