Posted: Friday, March 3, 2017 – 2:59 PM
(CNS) – A judge Friday denied a request, made on behalf of a former live-in companion of Sumner Redstone, that she not be required to comply with discovery demands in a lawsuit filed against her by the media mogul until her lawyers can take the plaintiff’s deposition.
The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Hess means that Manuela Herzer will have to respond to requests for information from the 93- year-old billionaire’s lawyers, who also were given the green light to obtain records from Herzer’s former lawyers that they believe will be helpful to their client’s case.
Redstone filed his lawsuit against Herzer and another former live-in companion, Sydney Holland, on Oct. 25, alleging elder abuse, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and claiming that the defendants put their interests ahead of his.
The suit alleges Redstone was manipulated and influenced by Herzer and Holland to make valuable gifts to the women, who formerly lived at his Holmby Hills estate. Redstone is seeking $150 million.
Herzer’s legal team states in their court papers that although Redstone filed a lawsuit against her, his closest associates previously said he lacked the ability to understand the consequences of his actions.
But Herzer’s lawyers say Redstone’s attorneys have not allowed them to take his deposition unless and until his health improves.
Herzer has alleged in a previous lawsuit that Redstone’s daughter was manipulating her father. In his ruling, Hess said he did not know if Shari Redstone is a “puppet master,” if Herzer and Holland took advantage of Redstone — as his daughter alleges — or even if Redstone welcomed the two women taking advantage of him.
But Hess said that if Redstone cannot support his claims when the case get to trial, that issue will have to be addressed at the time by his lawyers.
Holland filed a countersuit against Redstone. Her attorneys state in their court papers that Redstone has not been seen in public since he sued the two women and that he was removed as a voting member of the Viacom board on Dec. 16.
Herzer was present in court Friday, but Holland was not.