Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman refuted suggestions Monday that the company’s executive chairman, Sumner Redstone, is in any way mentally unable to perform his duties.
“It’s not a big secret that he’s 92 years old. Contrary to what some people are suggesting, no one other than Sumner Redstone is making his healthcare decisions other than him,” he said.
Last week, Mario Gabelli, the company’s second-largest voting shareholder, asked Viacom to publicly disclose the state of the executive chairman’s health, after Redstone’s girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, filed a lawsuit to take control of his medical decisions.
The suit called him “vacant, expressionless and out of touch,” after she was removed as his “healthcare agent” last month.
Dauman was named Redstone’s new “healthcare agent” on Oct. 16 and declared him “engaged and attentive” in court documents.
“They’re talking about a human being… who has accomplished a whole lot,” Dauman added. “We should retain a sense of decency here.”