Redstone Junior Sues Pop, Alleging Governance Abuses

16 February 2006

In a ruck over how the family business is run, Brent Redstone has filed a lawsuit against father Sumner M, the chairman both of Viacom and broadcast network CBS.

Despite having reached the advanced age of 82, it seems the media megasaurus still packs more than a threatening growl - or so alleges Redstone junior.

In his suit filed with the Circuit Court of Maryland, the state in which National Amusements, the family holding company, is headquartered, Redstone junior accuses his father of "governance abuses and self-dealing".

According to Brent's filing, the father-son feud intensified in 1999 when Sumner needed to calm Wall Street fears that his divorce from his first wife and Brent's mother, Phyllis, would not dilute his hold on Viacom.

Sumner allegedly demanded that Brent and his sister, Shari, give him irrevocable control over their National Amusement voting rights - but Brent declined to ink what his suit calls a "naked attempt to manipulate control of the stock".

Accordingly, charges the suit, Sumner "treated his daughter [now vice chairman of Viacom and CBS] with extreme favoritism."

Fans of long-running soaps look forward to a blissful spring season of family feuding.

Data sourced from USA Today Online; additional content by WARC staff