Frenchwoman was world’s oldest person – no doubts about it

Calment, who used to joke that God must have forgotten her, died in southern France in 1997, setting a longevity record that has been questioned

Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died two decades ago aged 122, should retain the title of the oldest person on record, French researchers said Monday, rejecting claims of fraud.

Specialists on ageing, Jean-Marie Robine and Michel Allard, who declared Calment the longest-lived person in the 1990s, said their review of old and new data confirmed she “remains the oldest human whose age is well-documented”.

“Recently the claim that families Calment and Billot (her in-laws) organized a conspiracy concerning tax fraud based on identity fraud between mother and daughter gained international media attention,” Robine, Allard and two other researchers wrote in The Journals of Gerontology.

“Here, we reference the original components of the validation as well as additional documentation to address various claims of the conspiracy theory and provide evidence for why these claims are based on inaccurate facts,” they wrote.

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