A former longtime companion of 95-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone has reached a settlement in her ongoing litigation, in which she agreed to return $3.25 million in assets to Redstone and withdraw her objection to her removal from the family trust.
The resolution comes less than a month after attorneys for both Redstone and Manuela Herzer agreed to the appointment of Samuel Ingham III as Redstone’s guardian ad litem in advance of an upcoming trial.
Ingham has represented singer Britney Spears since 2008, when she was placed under a conservatorship after exhibiting bizarre behavior
Ingham’s role would have been to help protect Redstone’s interests leading up to and through the trial, given the former media mogul’s severe speech impediment. Herzer initially objected to the appointment of a guardian, but agreed to Ingham’s selection when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan said on Dec. 17 that he was going to appoint someone to the position.
Cowan found that Redstone’s grandson, Tyler Korff, had the legal standing to bring a petition asking for the appointment of a guardian. Herzer’s lawyers maintained Korff lacked standing to file the request, but Cowan said Korff had a legitimate interest in knowing that his grandfather’s wishes were communicated to his attorneys.
In a setback to Herzer, Cowan also denied her request that Redstone be examined by an independent medical expert.
Herzer maintained that Redstone’s October 2015 revision of his family trust deprived her of her claims to $50 million in cash and to Redstone’s Beverly Park mansion, which is valued at $20 million. In April, Redstone filed a petition asking that the trust amendment be validated by a judge, and trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
Herzer’s lawyers maintained that Redstone lacked the mental capacity in April to make the trust amendment, but Herzer has now agreed not to contest the revision.
The settlement also covers Redstone’s elder abuse case against Herzer that alleged she wrongfully extracted assets from him. Also resolved was Herzer’s lawsuit against Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone. Herzer alleged Shari Redstone convinced the nurses serving her father to surveil her and turn him against Herzer, who was forced to move out of his home in 2015 and deprived of assets she claimed belonged to her.
Lawyers for the former chairman of CBS and Viacom argued their client is not mentally incapacitated, but only physically limited because of his communication problems. His lawyers said he answers questions by writing his responses on an iPad.
In June, the Redstone family settled litigation with another female former companion, Sydney Holland, who also was ordered out of Redstone’s home in the fall of 2015. Holland maintained Shari Redstone was behind her eviction.
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