Redstone's Spurned Girlfriend Seeks New Hearing on Competency

  • Manuela Herzer wants to seek testimony, documents in case
  • She argues he was in no shape to replace her as medical proxy

Billionaire Sumner Redstone’s former girlfriend and caretaker is seeking a new hearing in her lawsuit to be restored as health-care agent for the 92-year-old mogul who controls both CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc.

Manuela Herzer, in a filing of more than 200 pages, is asking a California state court judge to reconsider a Nov. 30 decision that rejected her request for testimony, documents and medical examinations in the case, according to a response from Redstone’s lawyers. The latest pleading includes references to a September audiotape of Redstone in which his speech is impaired. Redstone’s lawyers are challenging her request.

In that decision, Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein sided with Redstone, saying he appeared to be under good care and there was no urgency to proceed with further evaluations. Klein tentatively scheduled a hearing for Jan. 27 on Redstone’s request to dismiss Herzer’s suit.

Previous filings in the case showed that Redstone signed a directive in October giving ViacomChief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman sole control over his health care, including the right to decide whether he should be fed or hydrated if he can no longer make such decisions. Herzer claims Redstone was incompetent when he signed the document.

“Ms. Herzer’s lies continue, and her litigation tactics lack merit and basic human decency,” Gabrielle Vidal, Redstone’s attorney at Loeb & Loeb, said Monday in an e-mailed statement. “The court was informed of Mr. Redstone’s speech impairment by his doctor. Ms. Herzer’s decision to mock Mr. Redstone’s physical disability and suggest it would be the subject of ‘parody and ridicule’ is offensive and relevant only to her character.”

Herzer held the power under a previous directive, with Dauman serving as a back-up, and before that Herzer and another Redstone girlfriend, Sydney Holland, shared the responsibility.

Herzer met Redstone in 1999 and dated him for two years after which the pair remained close, Herzer’s attorneys said in a Nov. 25 court filing. She moved into his Beverly Hills, California, home in 2013, living there until October when she said she was abruptly told to leave.

“We have overwhelming evidence that Mr. Redstone lacks capacity to make health-care decisions,” Pierce O’Donnell, Herzer’s attorney at Greenberg Glusker, said in a statement.

The court has scheduled a Dec. 21 hearing on Herzer’s latest request, O’Donnell said.

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