Sumner Redstone’s Granddaughter Can’t Join Legal Battle Over Health Care, But Will Testify

Judge denies request to formally add Keryn Redstone as a petitioner, but “her game-changing testimony will be presented at trial,” attorney says

Last Updated: April 21, 2016 @ 8:11 PM

Sumner Redstone’s granddaughter will not be allowed to join the lawsuit presented by the media mogul’s ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer over his health care.

On Wednesday, Judge David J. Cowan denied the request to formally add Keryn Redstone, 34, as a Petitioner.

“However, Judge Cowan ruled that Keryn Redstone will testify, and therefore the game-changing testimony she sets forth in her declaration will be presented at trial,” Herzer’s attorney, Ira Steinberg, said in a statement to TheWrap.

The judge has also ruled that if the Oct. 16 Advance Health Care Directive (naming Philippe Dauman as the primary health care agent) is invalidated, the new April directive, which names Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone as the primary agent, will also be invalidated.

“Lastly, confronted with the potential that Mr. Redstone would be examined by the distinguished neurologist Dr. Michael Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., Mr. Redstone’s counsel withdrew their expert neurologist, Dr. Hart Cohen, M.D., as a potential trial witness,” Steinberg continued. “Once the Redstone team withdrew their expert neurologist, Petitioner then withdrew her application for a neurological examination of Mr. Redstone by Dr. Geschwind.”

Herzer’s attorneys had asked Tuesday that Keryn, daughter of Sumner’s estranged son Brent and niece of Shari, be named a co-petitioner in the lawsuit filed in response to Herzer’s removal last October as the health care supervisor of the 92-year-old magnate, whose family business, National Amusements, controls 80 percent of both CBS and Viacom.

“Keryn Redstone is an insider and a law school graduate who corroborates Ms. Herzer’s allegations,” Herzer counsel Ronald Richards said in a statement. “She confirms the issues with Mr. Redstone’s care, his disdain for his daughter, and is a credible witness, and if the court allows, will be a co-petitioner exposing the conspiratorial efforts to deprive Mr. Redstone of his wishes while he had mental capacity.”

The request to join the petition placed Keryn squarely in opposition to her aunt and defendant Shari Redstone, who currently makes decisions in regard to Sumner Redstone’s care.

In her own declaration, Keryn said Sumner was being held as a prisoner in his own home, and was largely controlled by a nurse. She said that as her grandfather grew older, he became more preoccupied with sex and the nurse “was using that fixation to increase his influence with and manipulate Grumpy [Sumner Redstone] and to assert greater control over the household.”

Attorneys for Redstone and Herzer had been close to a settlement of their legal dispute, but those talks broke down several weeks ago. While Sumner will avoid deposition in the case, Viacom president, CEO and Chairman Dauman is expected to be deposed.

Attorneys for Shari Redstone had previously dismissed Herzer’s claims and argued that her motives are purely financial.

Trial is still set for May 6.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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