Nephew Sues Sumner Redstone
November 20, 2006 at 4:20 PM (PT)
MICHAEL DAVID REDSTONE is suing his uncle, VIACOM Chairman SUMNER REDSTONE, and his father, EDWARD REDSTONE, claiming he was bilked out of a stake in the family's business empire, AP reports. MICHAEL alleges that SUMNER and EDWARD engaged in "self-dealing," "breaches of fiduciary duty" and "unjust enrichment as trustees of certain REDSTONE family trusts" when they bought out his stake in NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS INC. (the controlling shareholder of CBS CORP., VIACOM and MIDWAY GAMES) in a series of transactions in 1972 and 1984 at a low valuation, thus enriching themselves at his expense.
The suit -- which is joined by the trustees for trusts representing MICHAEL's late sister RUTH ANN's stake in NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS and a trust set up for the grandchildren of EDWARD and SUMNER -- also claims that the three trusts combined would have held a 50% ownership in NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS if the 1972-84 transactions had not occurred.
MICHAEL and the trustees want the 1972-84 transactions to be rescinded or damages "in an amount equal to the present value of those shares." That would equal about $4 billion.
NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS spokeswoman BRANDY BERGMAN told AP, "These are knowingly baseless allegations regarding entirely proper transactions that occurred decades ago," calling the suit "meritless and frivolous" and "particularly troubling considering the important role SUMNER REDSTONE has played helping MICHAEL overcome serious obstacles throughout his life."