A granddaughter of Sumner Redstone alleged Wednesday that the ailing media mogul is being manipulated by his daughter, vowing to help stop her purported bid to "seize" his corporate empire.
The statement from Keryn Redstone deepens the family drama, setting the stage for a heightened battle for control of holdings that include the CBS television group and media conglomerate Viacom.
The daughter of Sumner Redstone's estranged son Brent, Keryn Redstone makes bitter accusations against her aunt Shari Redstone.
The granddaughter has allied herself with the 93-year-old billionaire's ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer, who has been waging a battle to have the ailing mogul declared incompetent.
In a statement released by her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell, Keryn Redstone said she and Herzer have been prevented from seeing Sumner Redstone even though "we are two of the persons who were the most devoted to his welfare and protecting him."
"Shari and her family have managed to totally isolate and effectively kidnap, brainwash and take advantage of my grandfather due to his debilitated state of mind and frail health," the statement said.
Shari Redstone and her three adult children "have succeeded in reversing decades of my grandfather's careful estate planning and are poised to seize control of Viacom and CBS," it added.
"I do not intend to let Shari get away with this outrage," the statement said.
"I will soon be announcing legal steps to join with the Viacom directors in our common cause to liberate my grandfather from Shari's clutches and protect my fellow trust beneficiaries and myself from her machinations."
- 'Not worthy' of comment -
At stake is the future of Redstone's multibillion-dollar empire, including CBS and Viacom, which controls the hit channels MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central as well as Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures.
Asked about Wednesday's allegations, a spokeswoman for Shari Redstone called them "not worthy of a comment."
Earlier this week, Shari Redstone said she "has made it abundantly clear that she has no desire to manage Viacom nor chair its board" herself.
Viacom's chief executive Philippe Dauman, a longtime protege of Sumner Redstone, has been feuding with her over keeping his job.
Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams -- both of whom Redstone removed from a seven-member trust meant to manage his empire if he dies or is declared incompetent -- alleged in a court petition that Redstone is mentally incapacitated and not able to make decisions about the trust.
They accused Redstone's daughter of abusing her power over her father to seize control of Viacom against his longstanding succession plans.
Keryn Redstone offered support for Dauman, arguing that Shari Redstone's immediate family "lied to him (Sumner) about Manuela Herzer, the loyalty of his long-time friends like Philippe Dauman and George Abrams, and me."
Her attorney O'Donnell has also represented Herzer in a lawsuit seeking $70 million of an expected inheritance from Sumner Redstone. A judge in the case refused to declare the nonagenarian mentally incompetent last month.
There was no immediate comment from Viacom or Sumner Redstone on the latest statement.
Keryn Redstone's father Brent has had strained relations with his father. The mogul bought out his son's stake in the family business a decade ago to settle a lawsuit.