Wednesday, April 13, 2016

As the Sumner Turns

Don't look now, but it appears the Redstone soap opera is not over yet. In true soap opera fashion, there's been a last second twist. From Tom Taylor's column this morning...

“Settlement talks between Sumner Redstone and ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer hit a roadblock.” Uh-oh. That’s Meg James at the L.A. Times, and that could mean more lurid headlines about the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, if they don’t patch things up before the trial on Herzer’s lawsuit about Sumner’s mental competency. Of course what we really want to know (gossip-wise) is how much money is on the table. The Times hears that “Herzer would have received $25 million to $30 million to end her claim.” Apparently that (plus whatever else was in the incentive package) wasn’t sufficient. The next events we know about are the depositions of Sumner’s daughter Shari Redstone (the new guardian of Sumner’s health care) and Viacom Executive Chair/CEO Philippe Dauman. Philippe took health-care guardianship when Herzer was asked to leave Sumner’s house last October. This week there’s a new flap in Hollywood, over whether Sumner agreed to sell part of Viacom’s Paramount movie division (per Dauman) or not (as Paramount Chair Brad Grey maintains). The judge in the Herzer case continues to be baffled by the lack of a statement from the man this is all about – Sumner.

Pardon me, but there's nothing baffling about the lack of a statement from Sumner. The man is now a vegetable, and everyone in this case knows it but the judge. If he still had his faculties he would shouting from the rooftops. That's the way he was for the first 90 years of his life.