Media Mogul Needs a Guardian, Says Grandson
At 95, Sumner Redstone is still alive and at the center of several court battles. His grandson has asked the court to appoint a guardian ad litem, believing that this will insure the integrity of legal proceedings.
Tyler Korff says that his grandfather struggles to communicate and having a guardian ad litem make sure that Redstone’s interest would be better protected, says The Hollywood Reporter in the article “Grandson Requests Sumner Redstone Guardian.”
Redstone has been the subject of numerous legal skirmishes with former companions that have questioned the former Viacom chairman's ability to make decisions about his life and his business.
After arguing in court for years that Redstone doesn’t possess the mental capacity needed to remove Manuela Herzer from his estate planning documents after he kicked her out of his mansion in 2015, Herzer’s legal team has changed its approach. Her attorneys are now claiming that because Redstone's legal team insists that he does, in fact, have capacity and is the impetus behind the elder abuse lawsuit against Herzer and his former fiancée Sydney Holland, he can't ask the court to confirm the validity of his trust before his death.
In a recent hearing, L.A. County probate judge David Cowan said it was time to appoint an independent attorney to watch after Redstone's interests. Redstone's grandson Tyler Korff made the formal request. In a separate filing, Redstone stated he consents to "the Court's appointment of an independent guardian ad litem to represent my interests in this proceeding."
"Mr. Redstone suffers from a number of health conditions, including most notably a severe speech impairment that limits his ability to communicate verbally," states Korff's petition. "The Court has raised appropriate concerns about ensuring that the interests of Mr. Redstone are protected and that the resolution of his petition is not reasonably susceptible to challenge, based on questions about his ability to have directed the litigation."
Korff also claims that a guardian will safeguard the integrity of the proceedings "in the face of Ms. Herzer's repeated and well-publicized assertions that this litigation is being controlled by and for the benefit of persons, other than Mr. Redstone."
There are two probate attorneys who have been proposed as possible guardians for Redstone. One of them, Samuel Ingham, III, oversees the pop singer Britney Spears' conservatorship. The other is Jackson Chen.
Reference: The Hollywood Reporter (December 6, 2018) “Grandson Requests Sumner Redstone Guardian”