FIRST AIRED: January 3, 2019

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00:00:00
>> Jeanne Calment, the world's oldest person can rest easy again. The French scientist who originally validated her title before her death in 1997 rushed to her defense Thursday dismissing new Russian claims that she didn't really survive to the very ripe old age of 122. They said in fact her daughter Yvonne took on her mother's identity decades earlier in a tax avoidance scheme.
00:00:26
Not so said the French validation team who said called the accusation a ridiculous controversy. Russian mathematician Nikolay Zak accused them of ignoring the evidence.>> I think the validators themselves suspected that there was a change in identity. When I talked to them during my research, the replies were very strange.
00:00:43
They'd say one thing, then they'd change their minds, then they'd avoid me, pretending to be in another country even though they were in France. They said they forgot, and so on.>>
FOREIGN]
> Zak sighted discrepancies between the color of Jeanne Calment's eyes. Her height and the shape of her forehead comparing a copy of a 1930s identity card to her appearance later in life.
00:01:04
But for now, the record stands. In line with official French documents which actually state Jeanne Calment was born in 1875 and definitely long outlived her daughter Yvonne.