×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Philippe Dauman Pushes for Immediate Mental Health Exam of Sumner Redstone

UPDATED: Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman is pushing for an immediate medical exam of Sumner Redstone, as the two longtime allies continue to battle over control of the entertainment conglomerate.

Dauman made a motion to a Massachusetts family and probate judge “because Mr. Redstone’s mental condition is ‘in controversy’ and good cause exists for ordering an examination in light of, among other things, the lack of equivalent alternative evidence of Mr. Redstone’s mental condition.”

Redstone’s representatives have previously opposed an examination, saying that the mogul’s doctors  have confirmed, on multiple occasions, that he remains clear-headed, despite multiple health challenges and some cognitive impairment.

Dauman made his motion along with George Abrams. Both men had been Redstone confidants for decades, but on May 20 were suddenly removed both from the board and trust  of National Amusements Inc. The board currently controls Redstone majority voting interest in both Viacom and CBS Corp. The trust will take control of the Viacom and CBS shares when the 93-year-old magnate dies, or if he is deemed mentally incapacitated.

The two long-time advisers urged Judge George Phelan to order the mental exam immediately, to prevent Redstone’s daughter, Shari, from completing her purported scheme to take over Viacom. The plaintiffs say the 93-year-old magnate did not have the mental capacity to understand the significance of removing them from the National Amusements panels. They also contend that Shari Redstone took control of her father’s life and isolated him from allies to impose her will over him.

Shari Redstone’s representatives have called those claims “preposterous” and noted that she already turned down a chance this year to be named non-executive chair of both Viacom and CBS. The 62-year-old daughter said she merely wants to support her father and to restore good corporate governance at Viacom, whose stock has declined sharply over the last year.

Redstone’s representatives declined to comment Thursday. People close to the magnate and his daughter have argued that the entire fight over mental competency is effectively moot, because a majority of members of the National Amusements board also approved the ouster of Dauman and Abrams. Even without Redstone’s consent, the majority vote would mean Dauman and Abrams would be out. With two new members seated, the National Amusements panel, in turn, ousted five members of the Viacom board. That is viewed as a precursor to firing Dauman as CEO.

Dauman and Abrams’ brief Thursday was not subtle in trying to persuade the Boston-area judge about the major stakes at hand. It repeatedly described the opposition only as “those purporting to act of behalf of Mr. Redstone and said they have “orchestrated one of the most incredible and audacious corporate takeovers in the history of American business.”

The idea that Redstone would have moved against two of his longest-serving business associates is made even more suspicious because of his “well documented physical and mental failings,” the motion said, adding: “Mr. Redstone can no longer eat, stand, walk, read, wrote or speak.”

The Dauman lawyers further urged the judge on by noting there were actions in California and Delaware courts that could “preempt” Phelan from making his own findings.

Dauman and Abrams also asked the judge to order that Redstone’s camp turn over all records on the billionaire’s mental status for the last six years, including those from his regular family physician and from two geriatric psychiatrists who have examined him as part of a running series of legal battles that began last November. The two men claimed that Dr. Stephen Read, a geriatric psychiatrist who has examined Redstone, has already made note of “significant impairments” and is “incapable of understanding and appreciating the consequences of his actions.”

There would be a fundamental unfairness to Dauman and Abrams, their lawyers argued, if they are not allowed access to the mental health records and a chance to have their own expert examine Redstone.

The next hearing in the Massachusetts case is set for June 30.

 

More Biz

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

  • Michael Jackson Estate Accuses HBO of

    Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO for Non-Disparagement Contract Breach

    The estate of Michael Jackson sued HBO on Thursday, accusing the cable channel of violating a non-disparagement clause by agreeing to run “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary accusing Jackson of sexual abuse. The suit seeks to compel HBO to litigate the matter in a public arbitration process, and claims that the estate could be awarded $100 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content