Viacom's Sumner Redstone to undergo psychiatric exam in competency suit

MUMBAI: The woes of the 92-year old chairman of Viacom - Sumner Redstone’s only seem to be increasing with his ailing health.


After a shareholder slapped the company with a legal suit over Redstone’s high pay recently, a California judge has now ruled that Redstone will be examined by a psychiatrist hired by Redstone’s former girlfriend Manuela Herzer.


Herzer had challenged Redstone’s “mental capacity” in a lawsuit against her removal as his healthcare agent in October last year.


According to a report in the LA Times, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David J. Cowan ruled that Dr. Stephen Read, a psychiatrist selected by Herzer and her attorneys, will be allowed to conduct an hour-long examination of Redstone.


Judge Cowan allowed Redstone’s speech pathologist and nurse to be present during the examination. He also said that the examination could not be videotaped.


“We are gratified that Judge Cowan struck an equitable balance that assures our client has a fair opportunity to prove that her beloved Sumner was not competent when the attorneys had him remove her as his health caregiver,” the LA Times quoted Herzer’s attorney Pierce O’Donnell as saying.


However, Judge Cowan denied a request from Herzer and her lawyers that Redstone provide sworn testimony in a deposition.


Redstone’s attorney Gabrielle Vidal was quoted in media reports as saying, “We are gratified that the Court continues to reject Ms. Herzer’s increasingly desperate and disingenuous attempts to depose Mr. Redstone.”


Post Herzer, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was made in charge of making healthcare decisions for Redstone.

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