Newspaper article International New York Times

Family Split Widens in Battle over an Empire ; Redstone Granddaughter Sides with Directors of Viacom against Her Aunt

Newspaper article International New York Times

Family Split Widens in Battle over an Empire ; Redstone Granddaughter Sides with Directors of Viacom against Her Aunt

Article excerpt

A granddaughter of Sumner M. Redstone said she was siding with Viacom's directors against her aunt, Shari Redstone, over the future of his media empire.

The battle that is splitting Sumner M. Redstone's $40 billion media empire is further dividing his family as well: His granddaughter Keryn Redstone is siding with Viacom's directors, who are challenging his competence and asserting that he was manipulated by his daughter, Shari Redstone.

In a statement released Wednesday, Keryn Redstone said she was planning legal action to join with Viacom directors in a "common cause to liberate my grandfather from Shari's clutches and protect my fellow trust beneficiaries and myself from her machinations."

Keryn Redstone, 34, said that her grandfather, who is 93 and in poor health, had been incompetent since October and that she had been restricted from seeing him since Valentine's Day, when he "sat there lifeless and flanked by nurses and caretakers."

She took direct aim at her aunt, asserting that Shari Redstone and her family "have managed to totally isolate and effectively kidnap, brainwash and take advantage of my grandfather due to his debilitated state of mind and frail health."

She said Shari Redstone and her three adult children had "succeeded in reversing decades of my grandfather's careful estate planning and are poised to seize control of Viacom and CBS."

"I do not intend to let Shari get away with this outrage," Keryn Redstone said in the statement.

Representatives of Mr. Redstone and Shari Redstone did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Viacom spokesman declined to comment.

Feuding has long been a part of the Redstone family history. Keryn Redstone is the daughter of Brent Redstone, Sumner's estranged son. Brent Redstone sued Mr. Redstone in 2006, asserting that his father had favored his sister and frozen him out of the family business. They settled the year after, when Brent Redstone's share of the business was bought out. Since then, he has avoided the public spotlight. …

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