Sumner Redstone’s granddaughter has agreed to end a family feud in exchange for a visit with her dear old granddad — and a shot at a share of his billions of dollars.
The agreement points to the end of a feud that took over courtrooms in Massachusetts, Delaware and California. Two of Sumner Redstone’s longtime advisers, Philippe Dauman and George S. Abrams, questioned his mental competence after they were ousted as directors of the trust that will control his fortune if he dies or becomes incapacitated. They argued that Redstone’s daughter Shari was manipulating the 93-year-old mogul.
Their concerns dissipated earlier this month after Dauman agreed to resign as CEO of Viacom, with a $72.5 million golden parachute.
Keryn Redstone’s worries remained, however. She had voiced some of the same concerns about her grandfather’s health that Dauman and Abrams had — and also worried that their replacements at National Amusements, the trust that controls CBS and Viacom, would cut her out of the family fortune.
On Friday, Massachusetts Probate and Family Court magistrate George Phelan asked the Redstones to work out their differences. Hours later, Keryn Redstone said in a statement that she had agreed to drop her legal claims, thanks in part to an agreement that will protect her financial claims and allow her to see firsthand how her grandfather is doing.
“I am so grateful to Judge George Phelan for providing me the opportunity to see my beloved Grandfather. I am overjoyed that we will soon be reunited. Since February, Shari has isolated him and controlled every aspect of his life. Thankfully, I am not alone in my concern. I dearly love my grandfather. His safety and his health have been my primary concern. For over a year, it has grieved me to watch his condition deteriorate. Finally, after these painful months of separation, this compassionate judge has seen the love between us and arranged for us to visit,” she said.
She added that money was also at stake — and that she wanted to make sure the new trustees would not be “discriminating against me in administering the Trust and making distributions.”
As her attorney, Pierce O’Donnell said in his own statement, “Her $1 billion share of the trust will be forever assured by the trust amendments. Keryn could not be happier.” We bet.
Shari Redstone added in a statement: “The plaintiffs’ claims filed against Sumner and Shari have been dismissed, the settlement agreement is firmly in place, and Sumner’s decisions have been honored in all respects. This result benefits Viacom, National Amusements and all of the beneficiaries of Sumner’s trust.”