Sumner Redstone’s Attorney Warned of Health Concerns in Email Sent a Year Ago

Media mogul stepped down from Viacom and CBS boards amid legal battle over his care

Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone’s former attorney raised concerns about Redstone’s medical condition a year ago, long before the legal case over the media mogul’s care began.

Adam Streisand previously worked at the law firm that represents Redstone. He left that position in March 2015 to work for a firm that represents Sydney Holland and Manuela Herzer, Redstone’s companions.

Streisand wrote to both women telling them that he had been in contact with Redstone’s estate lawyer, Leah Bishop, to discuss an interview Redstone was doing with Vanity Fair.

“I spoke with Leah,” Streisand wrote, per the Wall Street Journal. “Let me just report what she told me, then I’ll tell you what I recommend…The main concern by Viacom/Leah et al. is that if Sumner shames Shari [Redstone] publicly that Shari will seek to establish a conservatorship over Sumner. If she does that, then his current condition will become public, and Viacom will have to remove Sumner as an officer/director and stop paying him compensation.”

The case was triggered when Herzer sued to be reinstated as the steward of Redstone’s care should he become incapacitated.

The suit and her claims that Redstone is unable to follow conversations and sign his own name have been rejected by Redstone’s lawyers, who characterize them as attempts to insinuate herself in his estate after she was removed in October.

The case has also exposed embarrassing claims about personal matters, like Redstone’s sexual appetite.

The 92-year-old controls about 80 percent of the voting stock of media giants CBS and Viacom through his conglomerate, National Amusements.

When he dies or becomes incapacitated, a seven-member trust will assume his voting power. Redstone’s health has declined in recent years, and he stepped down as chairman of both CBS and Viacom in February.