Mother & Filed

6 July 2010

Unique moments of parent-child exchange of looks must include: birth of the child (when the latter has calmed down sufficiently to return the gaze), witholding of car keys (from either side), King Lear disowning Cordelia, society families called to discuss their purse strings in court.

For society hostess, Lady Astor’s son, Anthony D. Marshall it was too late for any media types to try to describe any exchanging looks. Lady Astor died aged 105 in squalor and filth at the hands of her son, whom she had once described as “boring”. In 2009 he was accused of stealing millions of dollars from her through theft, forgery and trickery. His own son (the whistle-blower in this intriguing episode) did not attend court to receive any expression his father might bestow upon him. Alienated from both his mother and son, 85 year old Marshall read C19th French literature and sulked in the corridors of the Manhattan courthouse while he awaited the jury’s verdict (guilty).

And now it is the turn of Madame Bettencourt, octogenarian heiress to the L’Oreal fortune (currently she is worth 22-23 billion dollars) to swap looks with her daughter, who has brought her private life and her finances in to court and the newspapers. Francois Bettencourt-Meyers wants to stop the madness of her mother giving huge sums of money and assets to her ‘close friend’, Francois-Marie Banier. Mother wants her “cold child” to mind her own business and leave her alone to do as she will with her society-loving charmer.

While the legal wheels gather their own speed: Sarkozy twitches; lawyers stroke their wallets; the butler holds his spying breath. And Francoise tells her mother through the national press that she never stopped loving her.

Perhaps rich people do not really look into each other’s eyes. If only Madame & Mademoiselle had exchanged glances more often than they did, before the gregarious Banier stepped in to block their view.

Francois-Marie Banier & his friend Salvador Dali

A young Francois-Marie Banier with another of his friends, Salvador Dali


One Response to “Mother & Filed”

  1. And again – this is becoming the rich family’s common cold.

    “In the High Court writ, which refers to the “mutual antipathy” between father and children…”

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