Netflix’s latest offering, The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend is a French documentary series. Described as a “riveting docuseries”, the drama is centred around a late French businesswoman, Liliane Bettencourt, and her daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. Being the principal shareholders of L’Oréal, the Bettencourts are peered upon as trailblazers in the cosmetics and beauty products industry. However, beneath the astounding success and their picture-perfect lives, the Bettencourts not-so-secretly battled a carefully laid out conspiracy. This conspiracy soon transformed into a national scandal, rendering the entire country astonished.
While the Bettencourts are indeed real-life people, how closely does the documentary align with their story? Is The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend based on a true story or does the Netflix series merely derive inspiration from the Bettencourts’ censure? If you, too, are wondering the same, here are your answers!
Is The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend Based on a True Story?
Yes, Netflix’s The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend is entirely based on a true story. It portrays the 2007 scandal involving Liliane Bettencourt, her daughter, Françoise and a celebrity photographer, François-Marie Banier. Directed by Baptiste Etchegaray and Maxime Bonnet, the docuseries unravels the mystery behind Liliane’s relationship with Banier and the torment it inflicted upon the Bettencourts. It revolves around the reason why the “conflict between the world’s wealthiest woman and her daughter spiral into a national scandal.”
Liliane came across Banier when he was “commissioned to photograph her for the French magazine Egoïste” in 1987. The duo instantly became friends, attending several social events together and constantly engaging in intense conversations. The L’Oréal heiress became his chief benefactor, embellishing him with expensive gifts that nearly cost her €1.3 billion. However, the duo kept this fact under tab for decades until Liliane’s daughter lodged a complaint against Banier.
The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend Chronicles Liliane Bettencourt’s National Scandal
Liliane, her husband André and daughter, Françoise, kept running along the same social circle as Banier, who happened to be the godfather of Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose, for decades. However, after André’s unfortunate demise in 2007, Françoise raised her voice against Banier and accused him of exploiting her elderly mother’s weaknesses. Though Banier kept denying the allegations against him, Françoise didn’t waver and urged the investigation to be carried out surreptitiously.
The first trial of the Bettencourt-Banier case was held in December 2009. Though the jury delayed their verdict for nearly half a year, they were unable to proceed with it due to Liliane’s incorporation. She refused to have her medical state examined and intentionally prolonged the verdict. While Françoise kept alleging Banier of manipulating her mother, she was unable to prove it to the court and the public. In July 2010, Bettencourt’s butler sympathised with Liliane and Françoise and revealed a scurrilous voice tape. He stemmed Françoise’s trepidation by divulging that Liliane had willed Banier as her “sole heir”.
In 2015, the prosecutor Gérard Aldigé claimed that François Banier had “imposed his control over her like a spider spinning its web. And once he had her in his net, he never let her go. She became his thing. He dealt with her like a vampire.” He was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment and €158 million in compensation to Liliane, who passed away in 2017. Netflix’s The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend will unravel the nitty-gritty of the Bettencourt-Banier dilemma. It will unveil how Françoise managed to stand for her mother alone and assert justice.
Is The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend Based on a True Story: FAQs
It is a docu-series that centres around the conflict between the L’Oréal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt and her daughter, Françoise.
Yes, The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend is based on a true story.
She was a French businesswoman and the heiress to L’Oréal.
The series has been created by Baptiste Etchegaray and Maxime Bonnet.
Yes, there is a trailer available for The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend series.
You can stream the docuseries on Netflix starting from November 8, 2023.