Viacom boss Philippe Dauman will not be sitting down for a planned deposition today as settlement talks in the Sumner Redstone health care lawsuit are underway. There’s no deal at all right now, but we hear that negotiations on an agreement between reps for Redstone’s side and the media mogul’s former companion Manuela Herzer are moving along.
“With settlement talks going on for the past week, both depositions of Mr. Dauman and Sheri Redstone have been postponed,” a source close to events told Deadline. Herzer’s attorneys at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinge and reps for Redstone declined comment on any talks. However, sources says the two sides began having “serious conversations” in late Marchafter months publicly ripping into each other since Herzer, Redstone’s former health care agent, filed her suit in November last year. The Wall Street Journal first reported the rumored settlement talks today.
Herzer had been charge of the now 92-year-old Redstone’s health decisions up until last fall, when she was ejected from his SoCal mansion and longtime corporate right hand man and NY-based Dauman signed on for the gig.
Dauman’s deposition in the case was scheduled for today in the Big Apple, with Sheri Redstone set to sit down with Herzer’s lawyers Wednesday. With a California judge marking up the calendar in late February, Herzer’s case was looking to go to trial in early May in L.A. Superior Court.
And there is more than health care at stake here.
Before her falling out and breakup of sorts with Redstone, Herzer was set to gain $50 million in cash and the mogul’s’ $20 million Beverly Hills mansion in his will. She says the windfall has nothing to do with the case; she will not be receiving it now due to a change in the arrangements .“This is a pre-death trust contest dressed up as a health care litigation,” Redstone’s lawyers said bluntly on February 9.