Sumner Redstone will meet face-to-face with his granddaughter Keryn as part of a wide-ranging resolution of several disputes raised at the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court.
The agreement also cleared all objections to former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and director George Abrams’ effort to back away from the bitter legal battle they launched after May 20 when Sumner ousted them from his seven-member family trust and the board of National Amusements.
Last week they withdrew their case, which had alleged that 93-year-old Redstone is no longer competent to make such a decision. It was part of a broad agreement to end the legal battle in Massachusetts as well as one at Delaware’s Chancery Court, with Dauman surrendering his positions in the family’s power structure and at Viacom.
This was “a reasonable and human outcome to a human issue,” Judge George Phelan said. “Thank you all for your flexibility and your common sense.” He plans to hold a status conference on September 23 to see how the resolution efforts are progressing.
Sumner’s lawyer Robert Klieger said that his client agreed to meet with Keryn to see “if there’s any healing process that can be accomplished.” Keryn had supported Dauman and Abrams’ suit, and said that Sumner was being manipulated by her aunt, Shari Redstone.
Members of the trust that will run the Redstone fortune when he’s unable to do so, as well as other grandchildren who — like Keryn — are beneficiaries, agreed to propose that the terms clarify that they’ll all be treated equally.
“Everybody will have some degree of comfort that nobody will be treated unequally and hopefully have some sort of a healing process,” Klieger said.
They’ve agreed to scrap a planned mid-September court date for Keryn’s suit seeking to determine whether her grandfather is competent to manage his empire. They will stay all deadlines, depositions and other discovery efforts.
“I am very pleased for the Redstone family,” says Shari’s lawyer, Elizabeth Burnett. “The plaintiffs’ claims filed against Sumner and Shari have been dismissed, the settlement agreement is firmly in place, and Sumner’s decisions have been honored in all respects. This result benefits Viacom, National Amusements and all of the beneficiaries of Sumner’s trust.”
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