Court Declines Petition on Media Mogul Sumner Redstone Competency
May 10, 2016 08:52 AM EDT
The Los Angeles state court on Monday dismissed the case challenging the competency of Sumner Redstone. The court ruled that in in a video deposition, the 92-year old media modul clearly stated his decision to dismiss his former girlfriend.
The case began on Friday to determine whether Sumner Redstone is mentally competent to make his own decision. One of his former companion, Manuela Herzer filed a lawsuit against him challenging his decision to expel her and seeking a $70 million compensation.
In court papers filed Thursday, according to Los Angeles Times, Redstone acknowledged lavishing $150 million in gifts on his two female companions over a five-year period. The gifts included some homes, exquisite clothing and Paris getaways. However, he decided to kick them out of his mansion in Beverly Park.
Manuela Herzer filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court in November last year. She seeks to reclaim her authority over Redstone's healthcare. She claimed that Redstone was mentally incapacitated when he ousted her from an advance health care directive on Sept. 3, 2015
The trial will seek to determine whether the controlling shareholder of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp has mental competency to make his own decision. However, in a video disposition as Courthouse News Service reported, judge dismissed a probate case which challenged Mr. Redstone's competency. The court ruled that the media mogul made clear in a video deposition that he wanted his former girlfriend out of his life.
The video is shown privately to the judge after spectators and the press were cleared from the court. The 92-year old media mogul as Courthouse News Service reported repeatedly called her a"f***ing bitch" and confirmed he had removed her from the advanced health care directive.
According to WCVB, Judge David J. Cowan tossed out Herzer's claim after listening to a deposition of Redstone on Friday. During the video deposition which was taken a day earlier, Redstone often looked unintelligible or didn't answer questions.
"There is no good cause for judicial involvement where the court has now heard directly from Redstone that he has lost trust in Herzer, does not want her in his life and instead wants his daughter Shari to look after him if necessary," Judge Cowan wrote. "Redstone is presumed to have capacity and Herzer's expert did not establish that he lacked capacity to change his agent,"
Following court decision, lawyer for Sumner Redstone, Gabrielle Vidal of Loeb & Loeb said, "Mr. Redstone is grateful that the court dismissed this case and honored his stated wish to keep Manuel Herzer out of his life and healthcare decisions. Mr. Redstone looks forward to spending time with his loved ones in peace."
After hearing the video deposition, Los Angeles state court dismissed the petition. The judge ruled that Sumner Redstone is fully capable to decide in dismissing his former girlfriend and caretaker from his house.