Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriend wants his mental competency evaluated in court case

Sumner Redstone and girlfriend Sydney Holland arrive at the Friendly House Los Angeles awards luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Oct. 26, 2013.
Amanda Edwards | WIreImage | Getty Images

One of Sumner Redstone's ex-girlfriends on Wednesday asked that the media baron's mental competency be evaluated as they wage a legal war in California over $150 million in gifts he gave her and another paramour over the years.

Sydney Holland wants a judge to appoint "independent medical experts to evaluate Redstone's physical and mental capacity," according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

If he is deemed competent, Holland, 45, wants the randy billionaire Redstone to be ordered to sit for a deposition in their legal cases.

But "if Redstone is deemed mentally incompetent," Holland wants the judge to appoint someone, a guardian ad litem, to verify "under oath" the responses Redstone's legal team gives her as they produce documents and other evidence in those cases, a legal motion filed by Holland's lawyers at the firm Kirkland & Ellis said on Wednesday.

In the meantime, Holland also has asked a judge to stay discovery in the case until the question is resolved. Discovery is the process in which opposing sides in a lawsuit seek documents, testimony and other evidence from one another.

Holland's motion suggests that Redstone's health may have "precipitously declined over the last few months," since he was deemed capable to sit for a legal deposition eight months ago, but in recent months has been said by his personal doctor to be unable to do so.

The motion said Redstone "has not been seen in public" in recent months, and last month "he was removed as a voting member of the Viacom board."

"His ability to participate in this action has been seriously called into doubt," Holland's motion said.

The 93-year-old Redstone, whose holding company National Amusements controls the voting shares of Viacom and CBS, sued Holland and another ex-girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, last year.

Redstone accused the duo of conspiring to emotionally manipulate and abuse him so that he would give them many millions of dollars worth of gifts.

In response, Holland countersued Redstone last month, claiming in court papers that he also had given a slew of other women tens of millions of dollars worth of gifts, at the same time he was engaged to marry Holland.

Holland said those women "did nothing more than provide sexual favors" to Redstone, and allegedly included "one mistress — an aspiring reality show producer," who got $21 million, and the sister of a CBS corporate jet flight attendant who allegedly received $6 million.

Holland's legal action seeks to hold Redstone to his purported promises to support her and her young daughter.

Redstone's lawyer, Robert Klieger, in response to Holland's motion filed Wednesday, said: "Ms.Holland and her counsel would have you believe that only an incompetent person would prefer to leave $150 million to charity than to the Holland/Herzer tag team at whose hands he suffered so much."

"Mr. Redstone is well aware of everything these women have done, and are doing," Klieger said. "He firmly believes that what Ms. Holland and Ms. Herzer deserve is measured in years, not dollars."

Holland's motion said that last year, Redstone's "closest friends, advisors and business colleagues of more than twenty years publicly declared that as of May 2016, Redstone was mentally incompetent and being manipulated by his daughter Shari Redstone 'to serve her own interests and to assume control of his businesses which he long refused her.'"

That declaration came in a lawsuit by former Viacom CEO and Chairman Philippe Dauman, who sought to have Redstone declared mentally incompetent as Dauman tried to maintain control of the company. Dauman later settled that suit and received a $72 million severance package.

Holland's motion also said that in November, weeks after Redstone's suit against Holland and Herzer was filed, Redstone's physician said he would be unable sit for a scheduled deposition in the case because of his "severe current medical condition."

"The physician later testified under oath as Redstone's expert that Redstone could never sit for a deposition in this case because of grave health concerns," the motion said.

The motion noted that eight months ago, Redstone's medical professionals and legal advisors deemed him capable of sitting for a deposition "in another case."

Holland's motion said it is unfair to allow Redstone's legal team to press forward with voluminous discovery requests for information from her and Herzer "while stymieing Holland and Herzer's ability to build their defense by taking Redstone's deposition."

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