Sumner Redstone’s girlfriend troubles continued to play out in court.
Former lover Sydney Holland alleged in a lawsuit Monday that Redstone tossed her out of his home and cut her out of his will after she fulfilled her commitment to love and care for the 93-year-old billionaire.
In a breach of contract lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Holland demanded that the controlling shareholder of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. honor his previous commitment to provide for her financially.
Holland asked that, after his death, she receive a half interest in his Beverly Park mansion, worth about $20 million, as well as half his cash, bonds, stock and options that are not tied up in a trust that will eventually hold his controlling stock in media companies Viacom and CBS. his five grandchildren.
Robert Klieger, an attorney for Redstone, dismissed Holland’s claims as a “work of fiction punctuated by not-so-subtle threats of extortion and an overwhelming stench of greed. The critical witnesses will not be Mr. Redstone’s ‘celebrity friends’ but instead the nurses and household staff members who, unlike Ms. Holland, were by his side day and night.’’
Holland’s action is in response to a lawsuit that Redstone filed in late October. The ailing media mogul sued Holland and another former companion, Manuela Herzer, alleging the two women made off with $150 million of his money — and he said that he wanted it back.
Redstone has been sparring with Herzer for more than a year, since Herzer filed a lawsuit that claimed Redstone was no longer mentally competent. As that case unfolded, Holland kept quiet, in part, out of respect for Redstone and because she wanted to protect an inheritance that her daughter was in line to receive from the media tycoon, said people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.
That changed when Redstone included Holland in the October court action, a complaint that detailed her shopping sprees.
Redstone ended his relationship with Holland around Labor Day 2015 when he discovered she was having an affair with another man. Holland acknowledged the affair, but said it was a mistake — and that Redstone had had plenty of his own affairs during the five years the pair were together.
“After years of monogamous commitment to Redstone (with none in return) and living in a very controlled environment, Sydney succumbed to a short-lived affair,” her court papers state. “Naively, when Sydney confessed her indiscretion to Redstone, she hoped for the same forgiveness and understanding that she had shown him during all of his affairs. But, to her devastation, Redstone broke off their engagement and asked Sydney to move out.”
Within two months, Herzer was out of the picture, too. Herzer’s court action became a huge embarrassment to Viacom and the Redstone family, and led to Redstone stepping down as executive chairman.
Holland’s court papers contained photos of Holland and Redstone together in happier times, and copies of a 2013 email from Redstone’s estate planning attorney, when Redstone was contemplating marrying Holland or adopting her daughter.
Redstone never asked Holland to return the money or gifts her gave her, including a 9-carat yellow canary engagement ring that he presented her in 2011, until the October lawsuit.
In her court papers, Holland said she and Herzer were not the only women who Redstone had doted on. Her suit lists alleged amounts of money that he showered on mistresses and girlfriends.
“He gave one of his mistresses – an aspiring reality show producer – approximately $21 million; he gave a flight attendant on the CBS corporate jet approximately $18 million; he later slept with her sister, who he gave approximately $6 million; He gave another woman … $10-11 million,” Holland’s lawsuit alleges.
“He gave another mistress – who claimed to be a model – over $7 million; he gave a friend of his grandson’s girlfriend a job at Showtime and approximately $6 million,” the suit said.