Redstone lawyers in preliminary deal with ex-girlfriend: source

Thu Apr 7, 2016 4:56pm EDT
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By Jessica Toonkel and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) - Lawyers acting for Sumner Redstone have reached a preliminary settlement with an ex-girlfriend over a lawsuit that challenged the 92-year-old media mogul's mental competency, a person familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

The settlement may avoid further embarrassment for the ailing Redstone and his family as more details from the case were made public. A trial also would have brought to light details about the former girlfriend that would have come out in depositions, according to a separate source.

But the settlement also avoids a trial and verdict that would have provided investors some clarity about Redstone's health and the future of the two media companies he controls, Viacom Inc (VIAB.O: Quote) and CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote), after he dies.

Under the settlement, a local, neutral third party will oversee the day-to-day care of Redstone, according to the sources, who asked to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.

Other details of the settlement could not be determined.

A judge is expected to review it for approval by the end of this week.

Redstone's attorneys were not immediately available to comment. The lawyer for the ex-girlfriend who brought the lawsuit, Manuela Herzer, declined to comment.

Herzer was challenging her removal last year as Redstone's health-care agent in favor of Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, saying Redstone was not mentally competent to make that decision.   Continued...

Sumner Redstone  in Los Angeles December 11, 2012.REUTERS/Fred Prouser