Keryn Redstone, granddaughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, who is questioning the validity of the settlement between her aunt Shari Redstone and Viacom, has been granted a hearing in Massachusetts Friday.
The hearing would come before Massachusetts probate court judge Geoge Phelen approves the agreement ending litigation over control of the Redstone media empire which includes Viacom and CBS.
Keryn claims the agreement puts Shari Redstone in charge, something Sumner Redstone didn’t want happening when he was mentally competent.
“The settlement agreement also raises vexing questions about the role (if any) played by Sumner in blessing Shari’s takeover,” said Keryn Redstone’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, in a statement.
He notes that Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman challenged Sumner Redstone’s competence until he received a $72 million payout. “Plaintiffs have abandoned their fight to protect Sumner,” he said.
Keryn also wants Judge Phelen to carefully scrutinize the deal.
“No one should blithely assume that this settlement is a done deal given the undisputed evidence that Sumner has a major neurological brain disorder and is highly susceptible to undue influence,” O’Donnell said in his statement. “Judge Phelan must determine whether Sumner genuinely understood and appreciated the significance of what he ostensibly signed and the extent and effect of Shari’s improper influence on her father.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
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.