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As Sumner Redstone’s capacity to make health care decisions is set to be tested at a trial beginning on Friday, a transcript of the deposition that was conducted has been released.
Pierce O’Donnell, attorney for former Redstone companion Manuela Herzer, is the questioner and is probing not only to find out whether he is of sound enough mind to amend a health care directive, but also whether he’s been under undue influence from others. Because of a speech impediment, a translator is present as well, and Redstone is told at one point to adjust his dentures.
The questioning immediately becomes rocky. After O’Donnell introduces himself, Redstone responds, “Manuela is a f—ing bitch.”
He repeats that same statement again later during the deposition and also says she stole money from him and that she lied to him about the availability of one of his other love interests, Terry Holbrook.
Redstone testifies that Herzer lived with him for years, but doesn’t know exactly how long. And how did she leave? “I kicked her out,” says Redstone, knowing too that it happened last October, but failing to answer a question about his birth name.
From the transcript alone, it’s hard to say for sure how Redstone makes out (the judge will see a video of the deposition), but he does answer the question, “Do you want Manuela to make health care decisions?”
Redstone responds, “No,” adding shortly thereafter that he wants “Shari,” referring to his daughter Shari Redstone. The last thing out of his mouth is, “I want Manuela out of my life.”
UPDATE: Judge Cowan seemed impressed, telling Herzer’s counsel, “Mr. Redstone may be his own best witness. He has given some strong testimony, that he had difficulty giving. I want to know why that testimony should not be respected at the end of the day… He’s been put through a difficult deposition, and told me now as best he can what he wants. That’s strong evidence.”
Here’s the full transcript:
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