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Manuela Herzer Cites CBS-NAI Fight in Renewed Bid for Sumner Redstone Competency Ruling

Sumner Redstone’s former companion Manuela Herzer is trying once again to have a judge rule on the question of the aging mogul’s mental capacity.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan has set an Aug. 30 hearing for Herzer’s motion that discovery into Redstone’s mental capacity is crucial to settling the question of whether she was wrongfully denied a portion of Redstone’s fortune. Herzer’s motion cites the separate lawsuit between CBS Corp. and Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. holding company unfolding in Delaware court as more support for her claim that Sumner Redstone is being manipulated by his daughter, National Amusements president Shari Redstone, and others.

Herzer’s motion cites court filings that have emerged in the CBS-NAI case that seek to make the case that Sumner Redstone, 95, is not mentally capable of making decisions on behalf of NAI. Herzer specifically points to a recent video of Sumner Redstone taken by producer Arnold Kopelson, a member of CBS’ board of directors and friend of the mogul who is the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom. That video was submitted under seal in the CBS-NAI case.

Herzer maintains that Shari Redstone and others kicked her out of Sumner Redstone’s Beverly Park home in late 2015 and adjusted the terms of his trust, under which she had been set to leave her $50 million and the Beverly Park mansion. The mental competency ruling is key to Herzer’s long-running legal battle and the CBS-NAI litigation. Herzer believes that Kopelson “will testify that (Sumner) Redstone is unable to communicate, unable to understand when he is spoken to and appears to lack capacity,” according to the motion filed on Aug. 15.

The question of Sumner Redstone’s competency is key to the CBS-NAI case as CBS asserts that Shari Redstone and the NAI board have taken advantage of Sumner Redstone’s debilitated condition to pursue their own agenda for CBS and Viacom, which is also controlled by NAI. In the CBS-NAI case, NAI attorneys have argued that a formal deposition would be too hard on Sumner Redstone, given his physical condition. Sumner Redstone provided written answers to questions in the CBS-NAI case but the Delaware judge ruled earlier this month that they could not be used as part of the discovery process, saying he had “great skepticism” about how those answers were gathered in light of reports that the mogul can no longer speak.

Herzer’s latest filing questions whether Robert Klieger, Sumner Redstone attorney and CBS Corp. board member, has the right to represent Sumner Redstone in court. In July, a federal judge dismissed a separate $150 million racketeering lawsuit that Herzer filed against Shari Redstone and Shari Redstone’s son, Tyler Korff.

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