Sumner Redstone Agrees to ‘Brief’ Deposition in Mental Capacity Trial

Sumner Redstone
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Sumner Redstone is willing to sit for a limited deposition prior to a trial into whether he had the mental capacity to remove two of long-time business allies from the board and trust that controlled his corporate empire.

Redstone’s attorney said the magnate would submit to questioning but that a full physical exam is not necessary prior to the trial, which is now set to begin Sept. 19 in Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts.

Judge George Phelan set a hearing for Aug. 26 for further discussion about the deposition and medical examination.

Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman and fellow Viacom board member George Abrams sued in May when Redstone removed them from the board of National Amusements Inc. and from the trust that will oversee his holdings when he dies, or is deemed mentally incapacitated. The two long-time Redstone advisors said that the billionaire did not have the mental capability to make such a decision and that he was manipulated by his daughter Shari into making the change.

Redstone said, through his legal representatives, that he moved the two men out because of poor performance of Viacom and plans to sell a stake in the corporation’s Paramount Pictures.

Trial in the case had initially been set for the first week of October, but Phelan moved the start date up to Sept. 19.