How a young photographer swindled the world’s richest woman and caused an international scandal.

One thing was absolutely clear though – Liliane, the elderly billionaire with money to throw around, was taken advantage of by her staff and her alleged friends. 

Her daughter’s struggle to free her from the “predators” eventually came to fruition in 2015.

The whole affair ended with Françoise getting her mother away from Banier, prompting her to sign a document that had her placed under guardianship. Françoise’s whole argument was that her mother was unfit to agree to anything. Banier was given a three-year prison sentence for “abuse of weakness” and ordered to pay a hefty fine. 

His legal team appealed and in the end, he was handed a four-year suspended sentence and his AUD$263 million fine was reduced to just $625,000.

Liliane died peacefully at age 94 in 2017. 

As for what Banier is up to now, he is still living and working as an artist. The now 76-year-old is about to release the first volume of his memoirs, titled Interrupted Dialogues, in January 2024.

“It is not behind me, it is in me,” Banier said of the Bettencourt affair, to TV5Monde

“Because she is an extraordinary woman and I’m very fortunate to have lived 40 years of friendship with her. The rest you will judge when the story becomes clearer.”   

The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend is available on Netflix now.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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