Judge Considers Dismissing Sumner Redstone Health Care Agent Case
May 6, 2016 at 5:09 PM (PT)
LOS ANGELES Superior Court Judge DAVID J. COWAN has decided to consider a motion to dismiss SUMNER REDSTONE’s health care court case this weekend after viewing REDSTONE's deposition as "strong evidence" that the longtime VIACOM/CBS head knew what he was doing when he cut off ex-girlfriend MANUELA HERZER from his life, REUTERS reports. HERZER is suing REDSTONE over her removal as the billionaire's designated health care agent, contending that REDSTONE was not mentally competent at the time he made the decision.
At the first day of trial on FRIDAY, Judge COWAN privately reviewed REDSTONE's video deposition, while a written transcript was publicly released. In it, REDSTONE, 92, said HERZER stole from him, repeatedly calling her a "f---ing bitch," and when asked who should make his health care decisions if he no longer could, he named his daughter, SHARI, who is a board member at both companies.
"He has told me now, best he can, what he wants," COWAN said "That's strong evidence," then he addressed HERZER's attorneys, "Your burden now is a hard one."
HERZER attorney PIERCE O'DONNELL argued that REDSTONE's answers to his own lawyer's questions were programmed and rehearsed.
A ruling against HERZER could undercut complaints from some investors about REDSTONE’s influence at VIACOM INC and CBS CORP. where he recently retired from being Executive Chairman. If he was ruled to be mentally incompetent, a chain of events could take the controlling stake out of his hands.
Earlier today, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES reported, "New court documents reveal that SUMNER REDSTONE’s former girlfriends received $150 million from him over a five-year period. According to a trial brief filed by REDSTONE's attorneys in the case over the ailing mogul's mental competence, it is alleged that MANUELA HERZER and SYDNEY HOLLAND 'collectively received some $150 million' from 2010 to 2015. Both women had acrimonious partings with the 92-year-old billionaire last year."
ALL ACCESS reported last month (NET NEWS 4/28) that the trial in MANUELA HERZER's suit against former VIACOM and CBS CORP. chairman SUMNER REDSTONE will be public, LOS ANGELES COUNTY Superior Court Judge DAVID J. COWAN tentatively ruled on WEDNESDAY (4/27). COWAN denied a motion by REDSTONE's attorneys to block parts of the trial from the public; media organizations had opposed the attempt to seal parts of the trial, which COWAN said would not be practical.