Shari Redstone: Father’s "Health Flourished" After Manuela Herzer Was Forced Out
In a declaration, she says Sumner Redstone also wants her to be consulted on health care-related decisions and says "my family was effectively prevented from having meaningful access to my father."
Shari Redstone has said in a legal declaration that her father Sumner Redstone’s "health flourished" after former girlfriend Manuela Herzer was forced out of his home.
Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman was named Redstone's health care proxy after Herzer left, but Shari Redstone also says in the statement to the court that her father wants her to be consulted on any health care-related decisions.
The declaration, filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, adds to the documents being reviewed in the legal showdown over Viacom executive chairman and CBS Corp. chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone's health care. It emerged after Wednesday's news that Shari Redstone, the CBS Corp. and Viacom vice chair, declined to become chair of CBS, leaving that role to Leslie Moonves. Sumner Redstone was named chairman emeritus.
Shari Redstone's declaration sees the media mogul's daughter, 61, criticize Herzer and another ex-girlfriend, Sydney Holland, in the battle over the care of her father. "l am informed and believe that" Herzer received more than $70 million in cash and assets from Sumner Redstone since 2009, Shari Redstone also says.
"Before October 2015, it seemed to me that my family was effectively prevented from having meaningful access to my father," her declaration continues. "Ms. Herzer (and/or another woman named Sydney Holland) made it clear that we were not welcome in my father’s home."
It added: "On those occasions when visits occurred, Ms. Herzer and/or Ms. Holland appeared to try to monitor communications with my father, with one of them usually sitting close as we tried to have private, family conversations with my father, and insisting on remaining in the room with us."
Concluded Shari Redstone, who lives in Boston: "Once Ms. Herzer was out of my father’s life, my family and I were able to reunite with my father. Now, I am able to visit with my father on a regular basis. Since mid-November 2015, I have traveled from the east coast to Los Angeles to visit with my father in his home on 39 days. When I cannot be with my father in his home, my father and I "face-time" by telephone, sometimes more than once a day."
Her declaration also said that "my three children also are now in frequent contact with their grandfather, as they were before Ms. Herzer (and Ms. Holland) inserted themselves into my father's life."
And she concluded: "Once Ms. Herzer was no longer involved in my father's life, my father's health flourished and he was happy."
In terms of his health-care set-up, Shari Redstone said that after Herzer's departure, "my father expressed his wish that I once again become involved in his health care decisions (should he become unable to make those decisions himself). On December 18, 2015, my father wrote a letter to Messrs. Dauman and [Viacom COO Tom] Dooley, stating, with regard to his Advance Health Care Directive, that 'in the event the time comes that I am unable to make my own medical decisions and my doctor relies on my Advance Health Care Directive ... l am directing you to consult with my daughter, Shari Redstone, on all medical matters and to take into account her input as if she were acting with you as a joint health care agent.' I am honored to resume this position of trust in my father's life; previously it was my understanding that I was one of my father's health care proxies."
In the declaration, she also emphasized that "I have access to a private jet and can be at my father’s side quickly, when needed." Plus, her 32-year-old son Brandon Korff lives less than 15 minutes from his grandfather's home, spends time there regularly and can be with him "in minutes."
Sumner Redstone’s lawyers have argued that Herzer was properly removed from his home and stripped of her role as his legal healthcare agent.
Herzer has argued that Redstone did not have the mental competency to throw her out as his health care agent. A psychiatrist picked by Herzer examined Redstone on Friday. In her declaration, Shari Redstone said that Herzer’s lawsuit to win back her role in his health care "is causing my father tremendous stress and agitation."