A grandson of Sumner Redstone is asking that a guardian ad litem be named to protect the 95-year-old media mogul’s interests in his legal battles with a former live-in companion, court papers obtained Monday show.
Tyler Korff’s petition, filed last Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, states the guardian ad litem will “safeguard the actual and perceived integrity of the proceedings to all interested parties and the public.”
Korff recommends that either Jackson Chen or Samuel Ingham III be appointed on Redstone’s behalf. Both are probate attorneys and Ingham has represented Britney Spears in her ongoing conservatorship imposed by a judge in 2008 after the singer exhibited bizarre behavior.
Redstone has an open case against Manuela Herzer that seeks to recover assets he alleges she wrongfully extracted from him. The case is set for trial in February 2020, but Redstone’s lawyers are asking for a date in 2019 because of their client’s age.
Herzer’s lawyers filed court papers asking that any decision on rescheduling the trial be delayed until the pending application for the appointment of a guardian ad litem, set for a hearing on Dec. 17, is decided.
Lawyers for the former chairman of CBS and Viacom have argued their client is not incapacitated and that the guardian ad litem’s role would be to protect the billionaire’s interests and argue on his behalf. But Herzer’s lawyers say the application bolsters their contention that Redstone is not competent to control the litigation and that it is actually being directed by his daughter, Shari, a longtime Herzer adversary. Redstone’s lawyers filed court papers stating they support Korff’s guardian ad litem petition.
Korff’s court papers state that Redstone “suffers from a number of health conditions, including most notably a severe speech impairment that limits his ability to communicate verbally.”
Meanwhile a hearing is scheduled Wednesday on a motion by Herzer’s lawyers to take Korff’s deposition in advance of the Dec. 17 hearing.
“Herzer believes that it is urgent that the deposition of Korff be taken prior to the hearing of the (guardian ad litem) petition in order that the underlying basis for the petition can be ascertained and so the relationship between Korff and the two persons nominated to act as GAL (can) be determined,” Herzer’s court papers state.
In addition, there has been no explanation from Korff about how he learned that Redstone wanted a guardian ad litem, nor has evidence been presented that the grandson has recently seen Redstone or communicated with his grandfather, according to Herzer’s court papers.
Redstone’s alleged agreement with his grandson’s petition is not evidence that he has consented to anything or has the capacity to do so, according to Herzer’s court papers, which state that a “deposition is critical to explore these facts.”
Herzer alleges in a separate lawsuit that Shari Redstone convinced the nurses serving her father to turn him against Herzer, who was forced to move out of the billionaire’s home in 2015. In her complaint filed in May 2016, Herzer maintains that the October 2015 revision of the Redstone trust deprived her of her claims to $50 million in cash and to Redstone’s Beverly Park mansion, which is valued at $20 million.
Trial of Herzer’s suit is scheduled for December 2019.
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