On the eve of trial in California, media mogul Sumner Redstone’s former companion Manuela Herzer has agreed to pay back $3.25 million to Redstone, ending more than three years of litigation in various courts across the country. Herzer was seeking to be reinstated to his estate plan in an amount greater than $50 million.
Herzer kicked off the legal battle in November 2015 when she filed a lawsuit challenging Redstone’s mental capacity and alleging that Redstone had been unduly influenced by his daughter, Shari Redstone, to remove Herzer from Redstone’s estate plan. In May 2016, after just one day of trial, Hueston Hennigan obtained dismissal of Herzer’s challenge. Herzer then filed additional lawsuits against the Redstone family, all of which are now being resolved.
The settlement also resolves Redstone’s elder abuse action against Herzer alleging that she and another former companion, Sydney Holland, isolated him from his family and manipulated and sometimes drugged him to compel him to sign over control of his funds and estate. The Redstones settled litigation involving Holland separately last year.
Herzer’s lawsuits also spawned related litigation in Massachusetts and Delaware over control of Viacom, in which Redstone’s mental capacity was challenged. After less than three month of litigation, Redstone emerged victorious.
The Hueston Hennigan team included Rob Klieger, Andrew Walsh and Tanner Camp.