According to reports a settlement has been discussed in the lawsuit brought against “XXX obsessed” media mogul Sumner M. Redstone.
A former companion took Redstone to court to challenge his mental capacity. Three people with knowledge of the discussions report that lawyers representing the media mogul have started talks about a settlement.
Redstone legal battle could be settled out of court
Redstone has a large stake in both Viacom Inc. and CBC Corp., worth around $40 billion. He effectively controls both companies through his National Amusements Inc. theater chain.
People have been questioning Redstone’s capacity to run the business properly after his health started to fail him. He kicked his former partner and onetime romantic interest Manuela Herzer out of his house.
Herzer started a legal battle in November last year, claiming that the media mogul was not mentally competent when he wrote her out of an agreement that would have left her responsible for his healthcare. Herzer claimed that Redstone was under “undue influence” from Shari, his daughter.
Former companion Herzer removed from estate
Should a settlement be reached the case would not go to trial as had been planned on May 6. Lawyers for the media mogul claim that Herzer is looking for money and called the suit meritless.
At the same time as removing Herzer from his health plan, Redstone also removed her from his estate. Prior to that decision she stood to receive $50 million and a mansion worth $20 million in Los Angeles. Herzer maintains that she is only concerned for Redstone’s wellbeing.
In addition to considerable drama in the family, the affair is causing concern at Viacom and CBS. Shareholders and executives have had to take a keen interest in succession planning given Redstone’s ailing health at 92 years of age.
It took until February this year for the media mogul to be removed as executive chairman of the two companies. News of the settlement talks was reported first by The Wall Street Journal.
Reports of the discussions surfaced Tuesday, the same day that Viacom chief executive Philippe P. Dauman was due to sit for a deposition which has since been suspended. The deposition of Dauman has been postponed.