Psychiatrist: Sumner Redstone Understands Why He Removed Trustees
The doctor says Redstone removed Philippe Dauman as his trustee because "he’s done a bad job running Viacom."
Sumner Redstone knew exactly what he was doing when he removed Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman from his private board of trustees, according to his geriatric psychiatrist.
Dr. James Spar testified to the 93-year-old mogul's capacity last fall as part of the legal battle over his health care, and Spar stands by his opinion to this day.
In a statement issued Thursday evening, Spar said Redstone was "well dressed and groomed, alert and in no distress, and quite cooperative" when the doctor examined him on May 20 and 24.
Spar asked Redstone about his recent decision to remove Dauman and George Abrams from the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Trust, which some speculate was really a move made by Shari Redstone in her father's name. (Dauman has even filed a lawsuit to challenge the decision.)
"I asked Mr. Redstone why he was removing Mr. Dauman as Trustee and Director," said Spar in the statement. "He said, ‘He’s done a bad job running Viacom.’ I asked the same question about Mr. Abrams, and Mr. Redstone said, ‘He’s not listening to me.’ "
According to Spar, the mogul also reminded his doctor several times that "he makes all the decisions about Viacom and CBS."
There's no mention of an interpreter, but one was used during Redstone's profanity-laced video deposition about his ex-companion Manuela Herzer. Spar said Redstone indicated that he has been monitoring Viacom's stock and "spontaneously added that the value of the stock had gone up since his decisions about Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams had become public."
Spar said Redstone was particularly displeased with their decision to sell part of Paramount Pictures.
"I believe that Mr. Redstone retains the legal mental capacity to make the decisions he described to me on those dates regarding the National Amusements Board of Directors and the Trustees of the National Amusements Trust," says Spar's statement. "Specifically, with respect to those decisions, Mr. Redstone clearly communicated to me that he understood and appreciated the rights, duties, and responsibilities affected by those decisions; the probable consequences for himself and the other persons affected by the decisions, and the significant risks, benefits, and reasonable alternatives involved in those decisions."