After avoiding being part of the long on-going court spectacle of Sumner Redstone and his former companions, Les Moonves today has been put in the subpoena spotlight of sorts. First permitting a motion to quash the CBS boss being served, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Hess changed his mind and said the subpoena can now go ahead, partially.
Originally 11 categories in scope, Redstone’s lawyers wanted to quash four of the issues before Sydney Holland’s side withdrew three of the items. That left just one issue before the court for the downtown hearing Wednesday. Which, with Judge Hess’s last-minute flip, now means Moonves and CBS, along with Viacom corporate, basically have to produce every single document in their possession from the beginning of 2010 to June 2016 that could detail information about Redstone’s more than a dozen intimate partners, and the big bucks the media mogul might have given them.
“All documents, including without limitation communications, related to Redstone’s relationships or knowledge of Redstone’s relationships,” reads the actual request for production from the subpoena of last month. After years by his side and millions in gifts and more, Holland and Manuela Herzer were tossed out of Redstone’s palatial Beverly Hills home in 2015 — moves that triggered what has been more than a year and a half of legal fights to get back in, at least figuratively, ever since.
CBS had no comment on the judge’s decision when contacted by Deadline. Still, it would be surprising if the network didn’t push back against this in court to some degree.
This latest trolling through corporate cupboards comes out of the backlash to the $150 million elder abuse lawsuit that Redstone hit Holland and Herzer with late last year. “In the waning years of Redstone’s life, as his physical health declined and he became dependent on others for his care and sustenance, Redstone fell victim to financial and emotional abuse at the hands of two women many years his younger, defendants Manuela Herzer and Sydney Holland,” the filing claimed.
That lawsuit was spawned by Herzer’s much covered and failed health care directive action that LASC Judge David Cowan shut down last July. Herzer’s case came to a sudden end after taped testimony from the then 93-year-old Redstone made it clear that despite the mogul’s incapacitations, he distinctly did not want Herzer to be in charge of his medical care if necessary.
Halting that action, Herzer’s suit eventually led indirectly to the dethroning of longtime Viacom Chair and CEO Philippe Dauman and a still-being-felt shakeup at the company and the share-dominating National Amusements engineered by Shari Redstone — a shakeup that left Moonves unscathed, just as this court burp likely will.