Another week and another legal move in the ongoing Sumner Redstone health care with Viacom CEO and Executive Chairman Philippe Dauman today being ordered by a New York judge to sit for a long desired deposition. “Mr. Dauman is pleased to cooperate and fully prepared to comply with the request for appropriate and legally relevant information in the California proceeding,” said Dauman’s lawyers at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison today after the ruling Thursday by Empire State Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Freed.
The deposition of Dauman on Redstone’s mental capacity has long been sought by lawyers for Redstone’s former companion and health care agent Manuela Herzer. Currently, Dauman is the person who is charged with making decisions about Redstone’s health if the media mogul is unable to. He replaced Herzer in that capacity last fall, which led to her initial lawsuit of last November. Herzer has contested that replacement as well as a declaration that Dauman submitted last fall on Redstone and his relationship with the Viacom founder.
“We are thrilled about this significant positive development as we continue to gather more and more incriminating evidence that Mr. Redstone is the victim of severe mental and emotional abuse, fraud, and manipulation by those close to him in positions of trust and confidence who have betrayed this great man,’ said Herzer’s main attorney Pierce O’Donnell after the ruling today. “Philippe Dauman has a lot to answer for his attempts to deceive the Viacom Board of Directors and investing public about Mr. Redstone’s mental capacity, his participation in the company’s management, his enthusiastic support of Dauman’s leadership of financially ailing Viacom whose market value has plummeted by over 50% in the past year.”
After submitting to a court ordered medical examination by a doctor of Herzer’s in late January, Redstone resigned from his position as Executive Chairman at CBS on February 3, with Les Moonves tapped to replace him at the network. The next day he dropped being Executive Chairman of Viacom with Dauman voted in to the gig by the board over Sheri Redstone’s objections.
A hearing is scheduled for next week in L.A. Superior Court on a motion by Redstone’s lawyers to dismiss Herzer’s case.