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Judge denies new trial for Sumner Redstone's ex-companion

Judge denies new trial for Sumner Redstone's ex-companion
Manuela Herzer, former girlfriend and companion of Sumner Redstone, is escorted to a courthouse in May. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Sumner Redstone's former companion, Manuela Herzer, lost her bid for a new trial in her continued legal effort to have the 93-year-old media mogul declared mentally incompetent.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David J. Cowan issued the tentative ruling on Monday, delivering another blow to Herzer's attempts to restore her position as Redstone's healthcare agent.

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Herzer filed a lawsuit last year that contended she was wrongly removed in mid-October from overseeing Redstone's healthcare. Cowan dismissed the lawsuit in May after one day of testimony.

But the intrigue and legal allegations have accelerated since then as media company Viacom Inc., the company Redstone controls, along with CBS Corp., has become engulfed in the drama.

Redstone in late May removed two longtime associates, including Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, from a trust that will eventually oversee Redstone's controlling interest in Viacom and CBS.

That move prompted Herzer's lawyers to argue there was new evidence that warranted another trial to support Herzer's claim that Redstone was being manipulated.

Herzer is expected to appeal Cowan's ruling.

"Herzer intends to vigorously pursue her separate damages case against Shari Redstone and the household staff that collaborated with Shari to betray Sumner Redstone," said Pierce O'Donnell, Herzer's attorney.

In the meantime, Redstone's team applauded Monday's decision.

"We are pleased with the ruling and appreciate the extraordinary time and attention that Judge Cowan has devoted to this matter," attorney Robert Klieger said in a statement on behalf of Redstone.

Twitter: @villarrealy

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UPDATES:

5:19 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Herzer's attorney. This article was originally published at 12:09 p.m.

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