Granddaughter Can’t Join Redstone Fight

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Superior Court judge Wednesday denied a request from Sumner Redstone’s granddaughter, who wants to join a lawsuit challenging the elderly Viacom billionaire’s competency to make his own health care decisions.
     Redstone’s ex-girlfriend and former caretaker Manuela Herzer filed a petition in Superior Court late last year, claiming the 92-year-old majority shareholder of CBS and Viacom was mentally incapacitated when he revoked a Sept. 3, 2015 advance health directive.
     Redstone’s attorneys sought dismissal, saying Redstone is capable of making his health care decisions and that the probate case intrudes on his privacy.
     Superior Court Judge David Cowan on Wednesday denied an application from Keryn Redstone, 34, who sought to join Herzer’s lawsuit.
     “The court doesn’t believe … her being a party truly adds anything to this case,” Cowan said.
     Keryn is the daughter of Redstone’s son Brent, who has feuded with his father and sister Shari over his stake in his father’s company, National Amusements. Brent sued National Amusements but settled in 2007.
     In an April 14 declaration, Keryn describes in detail her ties to Redstone, who she calls “Grumpy,” and the ailing mogul’s allegedly contentious relationship with Shari, who according to court documents is now Redstone’s health care agent.
     Keryn says she began to notice that her grandfather’s health was deteriorating in mid-2014. In her 12-page declaration, she says that at Redstone’s 91st birthday he asked her to sit next to him so she could help him eat, as he had injured his hand and was having trouble swallowing food.
     “Shari demanded that I change seats with her, so she could sit next to Grumpy. I declined because Grumpy specifically asked me to be next to him to help him eat. Shari erupted and threatened to kill me,” the declaration states.
     After Redstone was hospitalized with pneumonia in September 2014, Keryn says, she visited him and heard Shari screaming in her grandfather’s hospital room. She says she learned later that Shari was “objecting to the movement of the feeding tube from his [Redstone’s] nose to his stomach, based on her religious beliefs.”
     “I clearly heard Shari state her beliefs as to what should happen to Grumpy. She said, ‘If he gets sick, don’t take him to the hospital. Let him die at home.’ Grumpy, being Grumpy, interjected – ‘I don’t want to die!’ Shari proceeded as if Grumpy were not there and as if he had not just expressed his will to live, stating: ‘He wants to die at home. Don’t call the doctors.’ Shari similarly pushed for a ‘do not resuscitate’ order to which Grumpy vehemently objected,” the declaration states.
     Herzer’s petition, filed in November, claims Redstone was incapacitated when he revoked the advance health directive.
     According to Herzer, Redstone – who is worth more than $5 billion – was under the “undue influence” of his estate planning attorney Leah Bishop when a new health care directive was created on Oct. 16.
     Herzer describes herself as Redstone’s “longtime friend, companion and caretaker” and says she moved into his home more than two years ago. She began to take care of his medical needs after his relationship with Sydney Holland, his girlfriend of five years, came to an end last year, Herzer says.
     Herzer had filed an application to amend her petition and to seek a neurological examination of Redstone but withdrew the application, according to news reports.
     The case is set for trial on May 6.

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