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Addicted to Succession? Well, here’s the real thing: An explosive new book will spill all about the power struggle to control Paramount.
Penned by two acclaimed New York Times reporters — James B. Stewart and Rachel Abrams — Unscripted: The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy promises a juicy glimpse behind the scenes of the media empire built by Sumner Redstone, the colorful and cutthroat chairman of ViacomCBS (renamed Paramount in February) who died in 2020 at 97.
The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively reveal the cover of the book, on sale Feb. 14, 2023, which features six central figures of the saga seated around a conference table beneath a looming portrait of the late mogul.
Pictured from left are Redstone’s girlfriend Manuela Herzer, former Viacom chief Philippe Dauman, Redstone’s grandson Brandon Korff, ex-Redstone girlfriend Sydney Holland, CBS chairman Les Moonves and Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone, who currently serves as chairwoman of Paramount Global.
Unscripted is set to reveal the “machinations brought about by Sumner Redstone’s complicated liaisons with women and the Succession-like dysfunction within his own family,” promises Penguin Press.
It begins with a preface that resurfaces the extraordinary set of circumstances that led to the ousting of Moonves in 2018 after The New Yorker published two stories in which 12 women accused him of unwanted sexual advances.
“Our reporting led us to a cast of characters that included not just top corporate executives, board members, and Redstone family members but glamorous paramours, a former soap opera and reality TV star, a down-at-the-heels talent agent mounting a comeback, and a celebrity matchmaker, all drawn to the spoils of a multibillion-dollar fortune and the myth-making allure of Hollywood,” write the authors in the preface.
Stewart, a New York Times columnist and professor at Columbia Journalism School, has written 10 books previously, including the blockbuster 1992 best-seller Den of Thieves, about an insider trading scandal that rocked Wall Street. Abrams is a reporter and senior producer for the Times‘ television documentary series, The New York Times Presents. Prior to that, she was part of the reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2018 for reporting on the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations.
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