The video in question was shot in January 2018 by CBS Corp. board member Arnold Kopelson. It was entered into the discovery process in Delaware Chancery Court in a motion by CBS last month but kept out of public view out of concern for Redstone’s privacy.
The video purportedly supports CBS’ contention that CBS and Viacom chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone is no longer mentally competent and that his daughter, Shari Redstone, has been improperly calling the shots at his National Amusements holding company, which controls Viacom and CBS.
NAI has blasted CBS for introducing a video that it says was taken without Sumner Redstone’s consent. Complicating the situation is a request sent to the court Monday by Wall Street Journal reporter Keach Hagey that the video be made public. NAI asks the court to strike the video from discovery record. If that does not happen, NAI makes the case for keeping it “in camera” and away from public view.
NAI maintains CBS’ inclusion of the video is “a gratuitous effort to harass or embarrass an elderly gentleman and his family.” NAI asserts that the video is “irrelevant” to the issues at stake in the lawsuit CBS filed against NAI on May 14.
“The Kopelson video is a sensitive and personal video recording of an elderly person,” the NAI motion states. “It was undisputedly taken in his home and without his consent, and without warning that it would be used for any purpose, much less made public in connection with high-profile litigation.”
CBS argues that Shari Redstone has breached her fiduciary duty as a CBS board member by seeking to merge CBS with Viacom. CBS’ suit alleges that Redstone has improperly discouraged potential CBS suitors from initiating acquisition talks because she wants to see CBS and Viacom reunited again before considering any sale.
To that end, CBS on Tuesday issued a subpoena to AT&T Corp. seeking any documents or communications related to a reported approach made by AT&T chief Randall Stephenson to Shari Redstone about AT&T’s possible interest in acquiring CBS.