Elderly media mogul Sumner Redstone has his iPad preloaded with just three key phrases that he uses in all his communications. According to a recent article in The Post, the audio clips are recordings of his voice saying “Yes,” “No” and “F*** you!”
The Post reports, “The 94-year-old billionaire — who has voting control over CBS and Viacom as the two companies engage in tense talks to merge — nevertheless won’t have final say over any deal, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). That’s because Redstone — whose health has deteriorated so badly that ‘he cannot speak much beyond grunts,’ only has a single vote on the board of National Amusements, the holding company that controls most of the voting stakes in CBS and Viacom, the paper reported.”
A complaint filed by Manuela Herzer, an ex-girlfriend of Redstone, was unsealed by a judge two weeks ago. Herzer claims in the complaint that Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone and her son, Redstone’s grandson, Tyler Korff had “used Sumner as an incapacitated puppet to literally manipulate every aspect of CBS and Viacom.”
The Redstone’s attorney Rob Klieger dismisses Herzer’s claims, referring to them as “fanciful.”
The Senior Redstone was born in 1923 to a Jewish family in Boston. His father Michael Rothstein agreed to change the family’s surname in 1940, at the request of Sumner, From Rothstein to Redstone, which is the literal English translation of the German-Jewish name. After graduating from Harvard College in 1944, Redstone served as First Lieutenant in the US Army during World War II, then eventually received his law degree in 1947 from Harvard Law School. Redstone went on to become a savvy businessman and media magnate.
He is the majority owner and chairman of the board of the National Amusements theater chain, through which he and his family are majority owners of CBS Corporation and Viacom, which is the parent company of Viacom Media Networks, BET Networks, and the film studio Paramount Pictures. As of September 2015, Forbes estimated Redstone’s net worth at $5 billion.
According to Wikipedia, “Redstone was formerly the executive chairman of both CBS and Viacom. In February 2016, at age 92, Redstone resigned both chairmanships following a court-ordered examination by a geriatric psychiatrist. He was ultimately succeeded by Leslie Moonves at CBS and Philippe Dauman at Viacom, where he currently serves as chairman emeritus.”
By Hannah Hayes