Viacom's Sumner Redstone in 2014.  Photo via
Viacom’s Sumner Redstone in 2014. Photo via

Two nurses for Sumner Redstone are asking a judge to dismiss allegations made against them by a former girlfriend of the media mogul, saying the plaintiff’s lawsuit targets them for reporting that they believed she was abusing their boss.

Manuela Herzer alleges Jeremy Jagiello and Joseph Octaviano intentionally interfered with her expected inheritance and invaded her privacy. Jagiello is Redstone’s lead nurse.

In her complaint filed May 9 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Herzer is seeking at least $70 million in damages from all the defendants, who also include Redstone’s daughter, Shari, and her sons Tyler and Brandon Korff; Redstone’s house manager/driver; and three other nurses.

In court papers filed Tuesday, lawyers for Jagiello and Octaviano allege that Herzer put her interests above those of the 93-year-old billionaire.

“In a stunning demonstration of both her greed and lack of any genuine concern for Mr. Redstone’s health and welfare, Herzer is now attempting to exact revenge, claiming she is owed up to $210 million based on flimsy and farfetched allegations of a conspiracy to disinherit her,” the nurses’ attorneys allege in their court papers.

Jagiello and Octaviano claim Herzer and another of Redstone’s girlfriends, Sydney Holland, were “emotionally and financially abusing” their boss. The nurses shared their concerns with Shari Redstone and her sons last year and also reported their allegations as required by law to Adult Protective Services, according to their court papers.

The allegations against Jagiello and Octaviano should be dismissed because they interfere with their duty to freely report the alleged abuses of Redstone, according to the nurses’ attorneys.

“Herzer and Holland, often acting in concert, had taken advantage of Mr. Redstone’s deteriorating health such that they were in complete control of his household, helped themselves freely to his assets — including availing themselves of credit cards and large sums of cash, and positioned themselves to be the main beneficiaries of his estate,” the nurses’ attorneys allege.

They allege Herzer and Holland also “emotionally manipulated and brainwashed Mr. Redstone, leading him to believe they were the only ones who cared about him, and blocking contact with family and family friends who they viewed as a threat to their dominion.”

Holland and Herzer also “repeatedly lied to Mr. Redstone to cover up their actions and to exert control over him, and they instructed the staff, including the nurse defendants, to also lie to Mr. Redstone,” according to the court papers filed by lawyers for Jagiello and Octaviano. “They went so far as to have staff impersonate (on the phone) Jagiello and Mr. Redstone’s doctor when Mr. Redstone was asking for them.”

Redstone kicked Holland out of his home last September after accusing her of cheating on him. A month later, he evicted Herzer and revoked her ability to make health care decisions on his behalf.

Herzer later filed a petition asking a judge to find that Redstone lacked the mental capacity to remove her as his health care agent, but her case was dismissed in May after one day of trial testimony. She filed her lawsuit against the nurses and the others defendants later that day.

Redstone was executive chairman of both Viacom and CBS Corp. until stepping down in February.

A hearing on the nurses’ dismissal motion is scheduled for Nov. 7.

—City News Service

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