Redstone Case Set to Go to Court

Sumner Redstone’s former live-in companion will get her day in court.

A judge in Los Angeles declined to dismiss a lawsuit by Manuela Herzer, who was kicked out of the media-mogul’s home last year and cut out of his will. Herzer claims that Redstone, 92, is no longer competent to make decisions about medical care or business.

Redstone recently stepped down as executive chairman of Viacom and CBS, two media companies he controls. He remains chairman emeritus of the companies.

Doctors for Herzer examined Redstone this month. And Herzer’s attorney were given the OK to depose Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, who has testified that he talks to Redstone and that he retains his faculties.

Dauman replaced Herzer as one of the people responsible for making health care decisions when Redstone can no longer make them for himself. Herzer is seeking to restore her decision-making authority for Redstone’s care.

"Surviving a motion to dismiss is a far cry from winning her petition,” said Gabrielle Vidal, Sumner Redstone's attorney at Loeb & Loeb. “This decision is not a finding on the merits and it does not change the fact that Ms. Herzer's motives are purely financial.  We are confident that when the Court has evaluated the evidence it will determine that Mr. Redstone had capacity to change his health care directive and that Ms. Herzer should have no role in his life whatsoever.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.