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Billionaire Sumner Redstone is suing two former companions for what he says was elder abuse, alleging in court documents that the two women became partners in a scheme to isolate him from his family as they drained his financial accounts.The mogul contends...

Billionaire Sumner Redstone sues ex-girlfriends, alleging elder abuse and a scheme to take his money

Billionaire Sumner Redstone is suing two former companions for what he says was elder abuse, alleging in court documents that the two women became partners in a scheme to isolate him from his family as they drained his financial accounts.The mogul contends...

Billionaire Sumner Redstone sues ex-girlfriends, alleging elder abuse and a scheme to take his money

Billionaire Sumner Redstone is suing two former companions for what he says was elder abuse, alleging in court documents that the two women became partners in a scheme to isolate him from his family as they drained his financial accounts.

The mogul contends that the two women, Manuela Herzer and Sydney Holland, received gifts totaling $150 million during a five-year spree that left the controlling shareholder of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. “in debt” due to tax obligations triggered by those “gifts,” according to a 31-page lawsuit filed Tuesday.

“Herzer and Holland took far more than Redstone’s money,” Redstone attorney Robert Klieger wrote in the suit. “They took five of the last years of his life. They took time away from his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They took his pride and dignity.”

Those in Redstone’s camp have long charged that the mogul’s former companions commandeered and brainwashed him, claims their representatives have denied.

The lawsuit contains emails between the women that discussed how best to maneuver to eliminate others who were in line to receive money, and emails from a concerned nurse who alerted Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, of the purported shenanigans unfolding in Redstone’s $20-million mansion overlooking Beverly Hills.

“The lawsuit has no merit whatsoever,” Herzer’s attorney Ronald Richards said in an email to the Los Angeles Times. “My client has a 20-year close relationship with Mr. Redstone that can’t be erased by the filing of civil complaint that lists incomplete, misleading, and false allegations. Sumner Redstone has given numerous women, other than my client, millions of dollars of gifts and property over the years.”

A representative of Holland was not immediately available for comment.

The suit comes a year after Redstone ousted Herzer from his home in the aftermath of discovering that Holland was having an affair with another man. Herzer subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking to restore her status as Redstone’s healthcare agent.

The case exposed deep rifts with the Redstone family, caused turmoil within Viacom’s boardroom and ultimately led to a management shakeup that culminated with the departure of Viacom Chief Executive Chief Philippe Dauman.

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

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Kenneth Turan reviews 'Moonlight' Directed by: Barry Jenkins. Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner. Video by Jason H. Neubert

Kenneth Turan reviews 'Moonlight' Directed by: Barry Jenkins. Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner. Video by Jason H. Neubert

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meg.james@latimes.com

@MegJamesLAT

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