Where is Lilian Bettencourt’s butler Pascal Bonnefoy today?

By Louie Fecou
Published: November 9, 2023 (Last updated: November 16, 2023)
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Where is Pascal Bonnefoy Now?
Pascal Bonnefoy | Image via MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images

Netflix has unearthed a fascinating documentary series that explores the bizarre situation involving Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal heiress, and her butler Pascal Bonnefoy, who would secretly record conversations between Liliane and her closest colleagues and friends. The recordings would eventually be leaked, leading to a court case and all manner of discourse, followed by Bonnefoy’s eventual — and inevitable — retirement from his post. The series, The Billionaire, The Butler, and the Boyfriend, explores the scandal and opens a door into the world of Liliane Bettencourt, who was the richest woman in the world at the time of her death.

Where is Pascal Bonnefoy now?

Frustratingly, little is known about the current whereabouts of Pascal Bonnefoy, but we do know how the story unfolded.

The Independent and many other publications such as Vanity Fair would cover the case that would land the butler Bonnefoy in court. The man had worked for the family since 1989, reportedly with no issues. However, after the death of her husband, Bonnefoy would become concerned that there was nobody to look after Liliane’s interests. He was also concerned that people close to the heiress did not like him, and planned to have him removed from his position.

This led to him illegally making recordings of conversations that would implicate people close to Liliane in somewhat shady practices. The fallout of the situation led to the butler and five journalists appearing in court, and Bonnefoy resigned from his position in 2010.

Pascal Bonnefoy, Liliane Bettencourt's Butler

Pascal Bonnefoy | Image via Netflix

Why did Pascal Bonnefoy secretly record Liliane Bettencourt?

Bonnefoy’s concerns about the heiress and his own position led to the recordings being made, helping to expose the machinations of those involved with the heiress and to help protect himself.

The two main subjects of Bonnefoy’s concerns were a close friend of Liliane, a photographer named Francois-Marie Banier, and a financial adviser called Patrice de Maistre.

Banier would become the focus of a criminal complaint, with Liliane’s daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, claiming “abus de faiblesse” which translates to an abuse of weakness.

Daughter Liliane would allege that people were taking advantage of her mother, and disputing donations that her mother had made, saying, “I am fighting a battle to protect my mother.” However, interested parties would then rebuke the claims inferring that her daughter was jealous of the affection that her mother had for them.

The story would escalate into an international scandal, and the recordings would expose Liliane’s entourage, and bring to the public eye many intriguing scenarios, including a possible illegal financing of a former head of state, Nicolas Sarkozy.

What happened in the court case?

Butler Bonnefoy and five journalists would appear in court throughout the proceedings, which would lead to multiple people being convicted of “exploiting” the heiress, including de Maistre and Banier. It was noted though that the recordings made of private conversations between Liliane and her inner circle were obtained illegally.

Bonnefoy and the journalists involved in the case would be found not guilty of any wrongdoing. The butler would leave his post in 2010, and after the acquittal in 2017, he would face no further legal proceedings.

RELATED: The True Story Behind The Billionaire, The Butler, & the Boyfriend

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