Moments after a judge threw out her lawsuit seeking to take control of Sumner Redstone’s health care, Manuela Herzer filed a new lawsuit Monday alleging she has been deprived of $70 million in expected inheritance.
Herzer, Redstone’s longtime companion, alleges that Redstone’s daughter Shari conspired with seven nurses to force Herzer out of Redstone’s life and remove her from his estate plan.
“What happened to Sumner Redstone was not the product of free will,” Herzer’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said outside court.”It was the product of an orchestrated devious campaign to take over her father and his estate and to throw the love of his life, Manuela Herzer, out of his house.”
Shari Redstone’s spokesperson responded, “Promptly after her significant loss in court today, Herzer continued her baseless attack against the Redstone family with a second lawsuit. It is total fiction and continues to speak volumes about Herzer’s motivation and character.”
The new lawsuit by Herzer appeared to fly in the face of claims by O’Donnell at the outset of the dispute. The lawyer said the ex-girlfriend was interested solely in protecting Redstone and overseeing his care. O’Donnell denied that his client was pursuing her case for financial reasons — noting that she had already received millions from the magnate when the two were still close and therefore did not need to pursue any of his fortune after he was gone.
According to the new lawsuit, Herzer was in line to receive half of a personal trust valued at $150 million. The other half was set to go to Redstone’s girlfriend, Sydney Holland. Redstone also gave Herzer and Holland gifts of $45 million apiece. The taxes on those gifts were to be paid by National Amusement Trust, of which Shari was a 20 percent shareholder.
The suit claims that Shari was intent on removing her father’s companions from his estate plan. In August 2015, Holland admitted to being unfaithful to Redstone and he ended the relationship. In September, he changed his estate plan to remove Holland. The new plan gave Herzer $50 million plus Redstone’s Beverly Park home, valued at $20 million. The suit claims that Shari then set about to remove the only other obstacle between herself and her father.
“The only way that Shari could get rid of Herzer was to alienate her father’s affection for and trust in her,” the suit claims.
In order to do that, the suit alleges that Shari relied on Redstone’s nurses to feed her information. In October, the nurses conducted an “intervention” with Redstone, in which they allegedly persuaded him that he had intended only to leave $15 million to Herzer, not $50 million, according to the suit. They also told Redstone that Herzer had lied to him when she repeatedly said that his sex therapist was unavailable to see him.
Soon after, Herzer was thrown out of the house. Redstone changed his estate plan again to write Herzer out as well.
The suit says that Shari and her children proceeded to “brainwash” Redstone about Herzer’s misconduct.
Redstone’s legal team has indicated it plans to file suit against Herzer to recover $100 million that she was given. Outside court, O’Donnell said such a suit would be little more than a smokescreen.
“If they want to sue Manuela, bring it on,” he said.