After Sunday’s announcement that Les Moonves was out as CBS CEO amid claims of sexual harassment and the months-long legal battles between the company and the Redstone family-dominated National Amusements would end, the courtroom drama is now officially over.
“WHEREAS, the Parties have reached a settlement to resolve the Litigation,” declared a short and to-the-point filing Monday in Delaware court (read it here). “Pursuant to Court of Chancery Rule 41(a)(1)(ii), the Parties’ claims in the Litigation are dismissed with prejudice as to the Parties only,” the four-page voluntary dismissal adds, after laying out the litany of legal salvos the case produced.
It means that the breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit filed in May by CBS over corporate control and a possible reunification with Viacom (the latter plan advocated by NAI president and CBS Vice Chair Shari Redstone) is done like dinner. Despite the trickle of now-unsealed documents onto the court docket, it also means no more digging into disappearing TigerText messages used by Moonves, who is still facing internal investigations about up to a dozen claims of sexual misconduct; now acting CEO Joe Ianniello; and other CBS execs.
The end of the sprawling lawsuit also means no peering into the still-sealed iPhone video of 95-year old NAI patriarch Sumner Redstone. While that footage could still play a role in a separate suit by the media mogul’s ex-companion, the footage taken by now ex-CBS board member Arnold Kopelson won’t see the light of day to determine the elder Redstone’s true capacity.
And it means the younger Redstone has truly won the corporate Iron Throne to be master of all she surveys, at least until CBS is put up for sale, as many think is likely down the road.