Sumner Redstone's 93rd Birthday Party Set; Guest List Very Different from Last Year

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Sumner Redstone

Unlike 2015's flashy event, the Viacom-CBS mogul will mark his birthday at his Beverly Park mansion this week with family and one or two others.

In sharp contrast to last year’s flashy “Passion to Party”-themed celebration hosted by two of his lady friends, Sumner Redstone will mark his 93rd birthday on Friday at his Beverly Park mansion with family and one or two others. But there will be amusements, including a bouncy tent for the mogul’s two young great-grandchildren.

Unlike the party at Vibrato Grill Jazz hosted by Sumner’s then-girlfriend Sydney Holland and companion Manuela Herzer, a knowledgeable source says this party will be attended by Shari Redstone, 62; Sumner’s ex-wife Phyllis (who declines to disclose her age); grandchildren Kimberlee, Brandon and Tyler Korff; and Kimberlee’s two children. None was invited to last year’s event. 

Sumner, who turns 93 on May 27, is long estranged from son Brent and now from granddaughter Keryn, who in April filed court papers bitterly attacking Shari in support of Herzer’s unsuccessful fight to be reinstated as Sumner’s healthcare representative after being ejected from his home. 

Among the few friends on the guest list for the celebration is former Paramount chief Robert Evans. (Perhaps awkwardly, telephone audio recently posted online revealed Sumner naming Evans, 85, as a possible partner in sexual trysts that he was attempting to arrange.) 

According to the source, this party is “a small, intimate gathering at home, which is what he has, in recent years, requested.” The obvious implication is that Sumner was an unwilling participant in last year’s affair arranged by Herzer and Holland, both of whom were subsequently booted from his life. Having lost her bid to be reinstated as Sumner's healthcare proxy, Herzer is suing Shari and others for $100 million, alleging they violated her privacy and conspired to deprive her of an expected inheritance from Sumner.

While the party will feature Sumner’s favorite Broadway songs, this time those will not be performed by Tony Bennett, who appeared at last year’s event. Also apparently missing from the list this time are 2015 guests CBS chief Leslie Moonves, Viacom chairman Philippe Dauman, Paramount chairman Brad Grey and COO Tom Dooley, financier and philanthropist Michael Milken, investor Ron Burkle, former Paramount execs Jonathan Dolgen and Sherry Lansing (with her husband, director William Friedkin), philanthropist Barbara Davis, producer Mike Medavoy and wife Irena, Redstone and Holland attorney Patty Glaser and producer Lawrence Bender.  

It's no surprise that Dauman is not on the year’s list: On Friday, Sumner ousted him from the board of National Amusements Inc., which controls Sumner’s 80 percent of the voting shares in Viacom and CBS, as well as from the trust that will control the fate of the Redstone media empire once Sumner is no longer on the scene. Dauman responded with a statement alleging that the moves represented “a shameful effort by Shari Redstone to seize control by unlawfully using her ailing father Sumner Redstone’s name and signature.” Dauman said Sumner lacked the capacity to make those changes — a turnaround from his assertions in recent months that Sumner remained alert and engaged.