Redstone's granddaughter says she backs Viacom's directors

Wed Jun 1, 2016 9:01pm EDT
 
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By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) - Sumner Redstone's granddaughter Keryn said on Wednesday she plans to support the independent directors of Viacom Inc to help free the 93-year-old media mogul from the "clutches" of his daughter, Shari.

The independent directors have questioned Sumner Redstone's mental competence, and said they would legally contest any move by his purported representatives to remove them from Viacom's board.

"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," Keryn Redstone said in a statement issued by attorney Pierce O'Donnell, who also represents Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer.

Herzer had challenged Redstone's mental competence after she was ejected from his mansion last October. She had sought to be reinstated as his designated healthcare agent, but a Los Angeles judge dismissed that case in May.

On Wednesday, O'Donnell said in a statement that he might ask for a new trial. He said a lawsuit filed by Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman included "material new evidence" that was unavailable at the time of the trial.

Dauman's lawsuit challenges his removal from the seven-person trust that would control Sumner Redstone's controlling stake in Viacom and CBS Corp when Redstone dies or is found incompetent.

Keryn Redstone, who supported Herzer's lawsuit, said in her statement that she affectionately called her grandfather "Grumpy." She said the last time she saw him was for 15 minutes on Valentine's Day, and described how she "quietly sobbed" as she held his "cold hand."

"As he sat there lifeless and flanked by his nurses and caretakers, he seemed unaware of his surroundings," Keryn Redstone said.   Continued...

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