A proposed settlement between media mogul Sumner Redstone and his former live-in girlfriend Manuela Herzer is in danger of falling apart, a move that would cast further fog over the direction of Viacom Inc, the entertainment conglomerate he controls, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
“We have hit a snag,” Pierce O’Donnell, Herzer’s attorney, told the Times on Monday. “We will see what happens.”
Both sides last week were close to establishing an agreement that was to have been reviewed by a judge and that would have provided a substantial payment to Herzer, who has challenged a decision that removed her as Redstone’s health-care proxy and has alleged the executive is not able to participate fully in his care or in his business affairs. The agreement would have established Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone’s daughter, as his health-care proxy and placed a family friend in the Los Angeles area as the overseer of the executive’s day to day care.
Closure of the case was seen as a relief to both Redstone’s family, who have no doubt been eager to dispense with a public airing of the patriarch’s lifestyle and Viacom, whose executive chairman and chief executive, Philippe Dauman, was to have been deposed as part of the case. If the legal wrangling should continue, Dauman would have to testify over a range of matters related to the elder Redstone’s condition.