Sumner Redstone was no shrinking violet during the long awaited trial that will determine if he is mentally competent enough to manage his own health, offering sometimes combative answers in his video testimony to the court, according to reports.
Redstone kicked off the trial in Los Angeles that will determine if his former companion and caregiver Manuela Herzer was right when she said the media mogul was a “ghost” who was unaware of his surroundings when he kicked her out of his home last year. Herzer, who also was stripped of her title as Redstone’s health care agent, appears to have a tough row to hoe.
Redstone’s mental state could have sweeping implications concerning his two biggest media holdings – Viacom and CBS. While he gave up the title of executive chairman at both companies, he remains its largest shareholder. Finding him incompetent could wrest control from his hands and set off a chain of events that could alter the course of both companies.
According to Reuters, Redstone appeared well aware of his situation in video testimony presented to the court, saying that Herzer had lied to and stolen from him. As a result, Superior Court Judge David Cowan said Redstone’s testimony was “strong evidence” that Redstone was aware of what he had done when he removed Herzer from his life.
“Your burden now is a hard one,” Cowan told Herzer’s attorneys, according to Reuters.
According to Reuters, Redstone had to be asked some questions more than once and an interpreter was on hand to translate some of his answers. But according to the wire service, he made his intentions known.
“I want Manuela out of my life,” Redstone said, according to Reuters.
The trial is expected to continue for the next several days.
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