It was 1987 when a young photographer, François-Marie Banier, came into contact with one of the richest women in the world.
L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt was to be photographed for the French Magazine Egoïste and Banier was assigned the gig. Despite being 25 years Liliane's junior, Banier and the heiress hit it off instantly.
At the time Liliane might have been immensely wealthy and enormously powerful, but, according to sources, she was also deeply lonely, utterly bored and trapped in an unhappy marriage. Banier was a young and exciting gay artist who offered her something a $40 billion fortune couldn't – joyful companionship.
Their platonic relationship, which spanned across decades, is currently the subject of Netflix's latest documentary series The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend.
However, it's not just their unlikely friendship that became tabloid fodder. Instead, it was how it led to the dismantling of a mother and daughter's relationship, a lengthy and fraught legal battle and a dramatic plot twist – the unravelling of one of the biggest political scandals France has ever seen.
Watch the trailer for The Billionaire, the Butler and the Boyfriend. Post continues below.