×

Sumner Redstone Asks Judge to Dismiss Philippe Dauman Lawsuit

UPDATED: Sumner Redstone has formally asked a Massachusetts judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman over his ouster last month as a board member of National Amusements and of the Redstone family trust.

In the filing Monday in Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Redstone argues that there are only two ways to have him removed for mental incapacity from control of his family trust, neither of which has occurred: that is is judged incompetent by a court or that three doctors certify that he can’t competently manage his affairs.

The filing asserts that Dauman’s argument that he is being manipulated by his daughter Shari Redstone is “offensive and untrue.” The billionaire’s lawyers also argue that his trust does not even contain a clause allowing actions to be reversed because of undue influence.  They say that, despite the removal of Redstone and another former Redstone advisor, George Abrams, there have been no significant changes in National Amusements’ holdings that would warrant the intervention of a court.

Besides the legal and factual objections, Redstone’s filing also urges the court to move the case to California where Redstone lives, rather than Massachusetts where the trust was incorporated in 2002. Redstone’s declaration says he hasn’t spent much time at all in Massachusetts during the past decade, most recently visiting in 2012. And it argues that the actions disputed in the court case, and most of the witnesses who would be called, all are native to California, making the courts there the logical ones to handle the dispute.

The furious tit-for-tat in the dispute continued later Monday, as representatives for Dauman responded with a statement accusing Shari Redstone and “lawyers hired for Sumner” with trying to “avoid a fair inquiry into Sumner’s well-being and how various documents came to be.” The Viacom CEO’s camp urged expedited discovery in the case “to allow the inquiry to proceed as quickly as possible.”

The Redstone filing includes a declaration from David Andelman, a longtime Redstone attorney who drafted the trust. Andelman backs up Redstone’s contention that he had every right to remove Dauman and George Abrams, another longtime Redstone confidant, from the trust.

It also includes a declaration from attorney Robert Klieger, who represented Sumner Redstone and advocated for his mental capacity in his earlier battle with former companion Manuela Herzer, who sought to reclaim her power over Redstone’s health care directive after she was removed by Shari Redstone last October. Klieger noted that, after the presentation of extensive evidence and arguments, a judge declined to take health care decisions out of Redstone’s hands and return them to Herzer, who had served as his health care agent.

Judge George Phelan has set June 30 for the next hearing in the case.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content