Judge rejects new trial for Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriend

Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:14pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An ex-girlfriend of media mogul Sumner Redstone will not be granted a new trial over her lawsuit that challenged the 93-year-old's mental competence, a California judge said in a tentative ruling on Monday.

Former companion Manuela Herzer argued that recent developments surrounding Viacom Inc (VIAB.O: Quote), one of the media companies that Redstone controls, provided new evidence to support her claim that the billionaire mogul was being manipulated.

"There are no grounds for a new trial under the facts presented," Judge David Cowan wrote in a tentative ruling.

California judges often issue tentative rulings, which are then finalized after a hearing with few major changes.

Viacom shares dropped 1.8 percent in afternoon trading to $44.37 on Nasdaq.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Herzer had challenged her removal as Redstone's designated healthcare agent in October 2015. In May, Cowan dismissed Herzer's case after one day of testimony.

Less than two weeks later, Redstone removed Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman and another board member from the trust that will control Viacom and CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote) after Redstone dies or is declared incapacitated, according to Redstone's spokesman.

Judge Cowan noted that Redstone, in a videotaped deposition presented at Herzer’s original trial in May, “has vehemently indicated he does not want her in his life."   Continued...

Manuela Herzer, the former girlfriend of 92 year-old Sumner Redstone, controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, heads back into court where she is suing to be reinstated as the person in charge of Redstone's health care in Los Angeles, California May 6, 2016.    REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian