Sumner Redstone “retains the legal mental capacity to make the decisions” regarding the future of his business operations, according to a geriatric psychiatrist who examined the 93-year-old mogul at his home on May 20 and May 24.
In a statement released by Redstone family representatives, Dr. James Spar of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said that Redstone affirmed his recent decision to oust Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman and Director George Abrams from his trust and the Board of Directors of National Amusements, Inc., the privately held firm that holds a controlling stake in both CBS and Viacom.
Asked about his decision to remove Dauman, Redstone told Spar: “He’s done a bad job running Viacom.” As for Abrams’ ouster, Redstone said, “He’s not listening to me.”
Spar wrote that Redstone appeared “well dressed and groomed, alert and in no distress, and quite cooperative with the examination” — in an apparent contradiction of recent claims by Dauman and Viacom board members that the aged executive is no longer capable of making business decisions.
Dauman has separately requested Redstone’s competency be evaluated. A Massachusetts judge has granted a hearing on June 7 to review the 93-year-old’s mental capacity. Abrams was also listed on the request.
A source within Sumner Redstone’s team told TheWrap that Redstone himself and his advisors agreed to having his mental faculties evaluated. Spar has examined Redstone several times since 2014.
During his examinations, Spar said Redstone “emphatically indicated” that he no longer trusted Dauman or Abrams, particularly after Dauman’s move to sell off a stake in Paramount Pictures against his wishes.
Of Dauman’s and Abrams’s ousters, Redstone was previously quoted as saying, “I have picked those who are loyal to me and removed those who are not.”
Spar described Redstone’s cognitive impairment as “mild” due to his advanced age and that the retains “the legal mental capacity” to make all his business decisions.