TV Titan’s Grandson Says Guardian Needed
“Sumner Redstone's grandson has asked the court to appoint a guardian ad litem in the legal battle over his estate planning documents, claiming the 95-year-old mogul struggles to communicate and the move will ensure the "integrity" of the proceedings is protected.”
Tyler Korff, grandson of the 95-year-old media titan Sumner Redstone, says that his grandfather has a "severe speech impairment." He claims that a court-appointed independent attorney would protect the integrity of the legal proceedings, according to a recent report in The Hollywood Reporter, “Grandson Requests Sumner Redstone Guardian.”
Redstone has been the subject of numerous legal skirmishes with former companions that have questioned the former Viacom chairman's ability to make decisions about his life and his business. A third party could make certain that those disputes are settled in his best interest.
After arguing in court for years that Redstone doesn’t possess the mental capacity needed to remove Manuela Herzer from his estate planning documents after he kicked her out of his mansion in 2015, Herzer changed her approach. Her attorneys are now claiming that because Redstone's legal team insists that he does, in fact, have capacity and is the impetus behind the elder abuse lawsuit against Herzer and his former fiancée Sydney Holland, it suggests he can't ask the court to confirm the validity of his trust before his death.
In a recent hearing, L.A. County probate judge David Cowan said it was time to appoint an independent attorney to watch after Redstone's interests. Redstone's grandson Tyler Korff made the formal request. In a separate filing, Redstone stated he consents to "the Court's appointment of an independent guardian ad litem to represent my interests in this proceeding."
"Mr. Redstone suffers from a number of health conditions, including most notably a severe speech impairment that limits his ability to communicate verbally," states Korff's petition. "The Court has raised appropriate concerns about ensuring that the interests of Mr. Redstone are protected and that the resolution of his petition is not reasonably susceptible to challenge, based on questions about his ability to have directed the litigation."
Korff also claims that a guardian will safeguard the integrity of the proceedings "in the face of Ms. Herzer's repeated and well-publicized assertions that this litigation is being controlled by and for the benefit of persons other than Mr. Redstone."
Korff's filing recommended that the guardian be chosen from two probate attorneys, Jackson Chen and Samuel Ingham, III. Ingham oversees the pop singer Britney Spears' conservatorship.
Reference: The Hollywood Reporter (December 6, 2018) “Grandson Requests Sumner Redstone Guardian”