Doctor says he believes media mogul has dementia

Redstone's attorneys contend Herzer was kicked out because she repeatedly lied to the businessman.

The testimony clearly had an impact on Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan.

Mr. Redstone's harsh descriptions of Ms. Herzer were reminiscent of Mr. Redstone's hard-nosed business dealings of the past several decades, during which he was known to be tough, litigious and outspoken.

A doctor who evaluated Sumner Redstone says he believes the ailing media mogul has dementia that renders him vulnerable to undue influence.

A geriatric psychiatrist hired by Herzer, Stephen Read, testified on Friday that Redstone has "uncontrollable outbursts of anger" which interfere with his ability to reason.

Faced with the potential demise of an action filed more than five months ago, Herzer's attorney's scrambled to put on evidence supporting their contention that the 52-year-old socialite was the victim of a "vast conspiracy" to separate her from Redstone - a plot allegedly led by Redstone's daughter, Shari, and perpetuated by his household staff, nurses and lawyers. A ruling in her favour could cost Redstone control of his stakes in Viacom and CBS, media giants worth US$42 billion (RM167.97 billion).

That suggests Herzer thought Redstone was mentally competent to approve the expenditures, Redstone's attorneys argue.

A transcript of the testimony shows Redstone saying, "I want Manuela out of my life", in response to a question about how he wants the trial to end.

Recently, Shari Redstone assumed the role of health-care agent for her father, with the authority over whether, for instance, he should be fed or hydrated if he himself can no longer make his desires known.

Herzer's attorney Pierce O'Donnell claimed Redstone has been manipulated by his daughter, Shari Redstone. Redstone's lawyers say Herzer and another of their client's ex-girlfriends, Sydney Holland, received $150 million between 2010 and 2015.

The trial, set to run through May 16, is being closely watched by shareholders of Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) and CBS Corp (CBS.N). But Klieger said that Redstone, who is both "reviled" and "loved", still has the highest standard of care and knew exactly what he was doing when ejected Herzer from his home.

Redstone's attorney Robert Klieger countered that Herzer was abusing Redstone and lying to him.

He said Redstone and Herzer ended their romantic relationship in the late 1990s and remained close friends and confidantes until October. She says she is trying to protect the mogul by having him declared incompetent. O'Donnell has said Redstone was generous toward Herzer and paid her tens of millions of dollars over the years.

Herzer, wearing a black suit at the first day of the trial held in a windowless courtroom on the sixth floor of a downtown Los Angeles courthouse, showed little emotion throughout the day but shook her head and nodded at various points in the testimony.

O'Donnell attacked Redstone's daughter, Shari Redstone, of manipulating her father to remove Herzer from his life.

Herzer claims Redstone was coerced into locking her out of her position as his primary caregiver and that he needs the court's protection.

Testimony is expected to begin with a closed session viewing of videotaped testimony solicited from Redstone at his home on Thursday. He has a variety of health issues, including a severe speech impediment.


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