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Redstone Granddaughter Sides With Viacom Board

Keryn Redstone, one of media mogul Sumner Redstone’s granddaughters, said she will side with the Viacom board against her aunt Shari Redstone in the battle over his media empire.

She said Shari Redstone was able to “effectively kidnap, brainwash and take advantage of [her] grandfather due to his debilitated state of mind and frail health” so her aunt could control his assets.

The Viacom board has accused Shari Redstone of having an “undue influence” over Sumner Redstone as he moves toward replacing Viacom’s directors and management, including CEO Philippe Dauman.

A suit by Dauman and another Viacom director, George Abrams, charging that a move to remove them as trustees of Sumner Redstone’s trust, which holds a controlling interest in the company that owns 80% of the voting rights for Viacom and CBS, will be heard next week in a Massachusetts court.

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On Wednesday, Keryn Redstone rejoined the fray, issuing a statement that said that Sumner Redstone’s health has deteriorated and that he has been incompetent since October.

“The last time that I saw my grandfather was on Valentine’s Day for fifteen minutes," she said. "As he sat there lifeless and flanked by his nurses and caretakers, he seemed unaware of his surroundings. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life."

Keryn Redstone also said Shari Redstone orchestrated the removal of Manuela Herzer as her grandfather’s companion and overseer of his health care, and has kept the Viacom board from communicating with him.

‘Because I was in the house, I know that my grandfather has been incompetent since last October," she said. "This is why Shari is keeping me away, because I will not lie or conceal the truth about my grandfather’s condition. I love my grandfather and I cry myself to sleep every night knowing that I might never see him again."

Keryn Redstone has hired the same lawyers who represented Herzer in her unsuccessful suit to have Sumner Redstone declared incompetent to make health care and financial decisions.

“I do not intend to let Shari get away with this outrage,” she added. “I will soon be announcing legal steps to join with the Viacom directors in our common cause to liberate my grandfather from Shari’s clutches and protect my fellow trust beneficiaries and myself from her machinations.”

Read the full text of Keryn Redstone's statement at

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.