Evils of Money (19 of 40) by Stephen Whitney
This content is part of a series.Evils of Money (19 of 40)
In his twilight years, Sumner Redstone 84 years-old, should be relaxed, fulfilled and enjoying the fruits of his labor. From a hard upbringing in a working-class neighborhood in Boston, Redstone has amassed a personal fortune of about $8 billion, making him one of America's richest men. The entertainment empire he has built is among the largest in the world, with CBS, Paramount Pictures, Showtime, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
His wife for four years, Paula, is half his age and lives with him in a mansion, with two swimming pools, a tennis court, and movie room in a gated community of Mullholland Drive in Hollywood, California. Redstone can view his collection of exotic fish in a handful of tanks fro his favorite chair in the den while he watches the stock ticker on CNBC.
But instead of contentment, Redstone is entangled in a bitter public feud with his children and is estranged from practically everyone in his family but his wife. Several of his relatives have sued him.
At the center of the dispute is the holding company founded by his father that today controls two publicly traded companies: CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc.
One lawsuit threatens his control of the media empire. The lawsuit claims the he cheated his two children and nephew out of portions of their inheritances to secure control over the family empire. Over the years, Redstone has earned a reputation as a ruthless businessman, cunning legal strategist and limelight-seeking
In 2006, his only son, Brent, sued him accusing his father and his sister of freezing him out of the business. His lawsuit was settled year later in a settlement. Then his daughter Shari, who just a year
earlier was anointed as the heir apparent, is now considering legal action as they have been at war with each other for months over succession of who will lead the company.
Money has not brought ...
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