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Sumner Redstone Will Be Examined by a Doctor Hired by his Ex-Girlfriend

January 29, 2016

Sumner RedstoneSumner Redstone
Sumner RedstonePhotograph by Michael Tran — FilmMagic

Viacom (VIAB) executive chairman Sumner Redstone will undergo an examination on Friday by a doctor hired by an ex-girlfriend in a lawsuit that challenges his mental competency, a spokesman for the former girlfriend said.

Dr. Stephen Read, a geriatric psychiatrist retained by former girlfriend Manuela Herzer, will examine Redstone at his California home at 11:30 a.m. PT on Friday, the spokesman said.

Investors are closely following the lawsuit by Herzer, who alleges that Redstone was mentally incompetent when he removed her as his designated health care agent last October in favor of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

Read, in a declaration filed in November on behalf of Herzer, said he believed Redstone lacked the mental capacity to make that change. He cited testimony from Herzer and other witnesses but he had not examined Redstone in person.

Redstone’s primary physician, Dr. Richard Gold, told the court Redstone was fully aware of what he was doing at the time.

Attorneys for Redstone argue that Herzer has filed the suit for financial gain. They said the billionaire also had revoked a part of his estate plan that left Herzer a “significant sum of money.”

 

Read may interview Redstone for up to an hour, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan ruled last week. The executive’s nurses and speech therapists may be present, but not Herzer’s lawyers, Cowan said.

Redstone controls about 80% of the voting shares in Viacom and CBS (CBS) through a holding company.