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Sumner Redstone Settles Long-Running Legal Dispute With Ex-Companion

Media mogul Sumner Redstone has reached a settlement with Manuela Herzer, the ex-companion whom he once accused of stealing $75 million.

The agreement comes less than a week before a trial was set to begin in Los Angeles probate court over the validity of Redstone’s estate plan. Under the agreement, Herzer will pay back $3.25 million in disputed gifts and will withdraw her objection to her removal from Redstone’s trust.

The settlement brings an end to more than three years of legal wrangling, which exposed Redstone and daughter Shari Redstone to intimate disclosures regarding family squabbles and the mogul’s declining health. Herzer had alleged that Shari Redstone, who now controls the family media empire, had orchestrated a coup to remove Herzer and another ex-companion, Sydney Holland, from her father’s life.

Herzer and Holland were both evicted from the Redstone mansion in the fall of 2015. Herzer alleged that Shari Redstone was acting without her father’s awareness or approval. Herzer made Sumner Redstone’s declining health the focus of her legal attacks.

In the fall of 2016, Redstone sued Herzer and Holland, accusing them of taking advantage of his advanced age and declining health to obtain $150 million in gifts. Holland and Redstone reached a settlement in June, while Herzer continued to battle in court on multiple fronts.

Herzer filed a federal RICO lawsuit against Shari Redstone and her son, Tyler Korff, accusing them of conspiring with Redstone’s nurses to illegally eavesdrop on her while she was living at the Redstone home. That case was dismissed in July, but Herzer had appealed the ruling. Under the settlement, Herzer will drop her appeal.

Herzer will also stop fighting with the Redstones over a luxury apartment at the Carlyle Hotel in New York. Herzer had alleged that Redstone bought the apartment for her as a gift, but a New York judge ruled against her and ordered her to move out. Herzer also sued Leah Bishop, the Redstones’ estate planner, alleging that she had tricked Herzer into signing away her right to the apartment. That litigation continues.

Sumner Redstone is 95 and is barely able to communicate. Herzer’s attorney, Ronald Richards, had alleged that he was not mentally competent to pursue a claim against Herzer in probate court. Last month, Sumner Redstone agreed to the appointment of a guardian ad litem, Samuel Ingham, who would represent his interests in the case. The legal guardian is believed to have signed off on the settlement agreement.

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