CANTON, Mass. – The Latest on Sumner Redstone-Viacom CEO (all times local):
A battery of lawyers has argued before a judge about whether media mogul Sumner Redstone is mentally competent.
Redstone’s competency was the focus of a hearing Tuesday in Norfolk Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts.
Viacom’s embattled chief executive Philippe Dauman and board member George Abrams are suing Redstone to be restored as a director and trustee to entities that control Viacom and CBS Corp.
They allege that the 93-year-old Redstone didn’t have the mental capacity to remove them and that he is being manipulated by his daughter, Shari Redstone.
In court Tuesday, a lawyer for Sumner Redstone said Redstone made the decision himself because he thought Dauman was doing a “poor job” running Viacom and objected to Dauman’s plan to sell a stake in Viacom subsidiary Paramount Pictures.
Media mogul Sumner Redstone’s mental competency is at the centre of a court battle in Massachusetts.
The first hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.
In court papers, lawyers for Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman asked a judge to order an immediate medical evaluation of Redstone. They also asked for a quick trial, arguing that Redstone is suffering from “overwhelming physical ailments” and has a progressive neurological disease characterized by dementia.
Last week, Redstone’s attorneys filed court papers saying he has been examined twice recently by a geriatric psychiatrist, who said Redstone is “clearly communicating” his business decisions, which “reflect his own authentic wishes and preferences.”
Viacom Inc., a media conglomerate based in New York, owns the Paramount Pictures movie studio and pay TV channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET.