1:27pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Sumner Redstone's Independent Health Evaluation Likely Won't Happen Soon
Sumner Redstone's mental and physical health could be evaluated by a neutral expert as part of an elder abuse lawsuit involving his former companions — but it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon, after a California judge on Wednesday declined to rule on the matter.
Redstone is suing his ex-fiance Sydney Holland for elder abuse, seeking to reclaim millions in gifts that he gave to her during the course of their relationship.
Holland in January asked the court to order an independent evaluation of Redstone's physical and mental health. She argues that since Redstone's personal physician has said he's not well enough to sit for a deposition in this case, she has the right to find out whether he actually had the capacity to sue her in October. Her co-defendant and fellow Redstone companion Manuela Herzer has claimed the mogul's daughter, Shari Redstone, is really behind this suit.
Herzer has been entangled in a web of legal drama with the family since 2015, after she was kicked out of Redstone's Beverly Park mansion. She claims both her ouster and Holland's, which happened earlier that fall, were orchestrated by Shari Redstone — who allegedly enlisted her father's household staff to spy on the women in a conspiracy to get rid of them.
The elder abuse lawsuit tells a mirrored story: It was the two women who manipulated the aging Redstone, using their feminine wiles to "commandeer" his life and isolate him from his family.
During a Wednesday hearing, Holland's attorney Mark Holscher tried to convince Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Hess that it's time for a neutral party to put to rest the question of whether Redstone has the capacity to make his own decisions. As with other litigation involving Redstone, Holscher anticipates conflicting expert testimony about the mogul's competence. "At some point you’re going to need to evaluate … who do you believe?" said Holscher. “Are you just going to choose between the experts, or are you going to want your own expert?”
Hess indicated he believes Redstone's privacy outweighs his discretion to have the mogul subject to yet another medical evaluation, but took the matter under submission.
Robert Klieger appeared on behalf of Redstone, and Ronald Richards appeared on behalf of Herzer.