L'Oreal heiress Lillian Bettencourt dies at 94

Liliane Bettencourt, L'Oréal heiress

Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, said in a written statement Thursday that her mother "left peacefully" overnight in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

This yeas, Forbes magazine estimated her fortune to be worth $49 billion.

The heiress has rarely been seen since leaving the L'Oreal board in 2012 after a medical report was submitted showing she was suffering from "mixed dementia" and "moderately severe" Alzheimer's since 2006.

"We all had a deep admiration for Liliane Bettencourt, who... was committed to (L'Oreal's) success and its development", L'Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement. The affair also involved allegations of illegal to members of then French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government in 2010, the payments allegedly paid for his 2007 election campaign.

Today, the richest woman in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, passed away at the age of 94.

Bettencourt is survived by her daughter, Francoise, who was born in 1953. Her father, Eugène Schueller, founded a company in 1909 which ultimately turned into the L'Oreal group.

The heiress began working for the family business at 15 labelling bottles of shampoo.

Sarkozy himself was cleared in 2013 of preliminary charges.

In this Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011file photo, l'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt attends Franck Sorbier's spring/summer 2011 Haute Couture fashion collection, in Paris, Paris. He died in 2007.

Famed for its "Because you're worth it" advertising campaign, L'Oreal is France's fourth-largest listed firm.

As the world's leading beauty company, L'Oreal generated sales amounting to 25.8 billion euros in 2016 and employs 89,300 people worldwide, according to the company.

During those years, neither Mr Schueller nor Mr Bettencourt were able to shake accusations of pro-Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitism despite their close association with Francois Mitterrand, the former socialist president.

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