Sumner Redstone’s ex-driver might be cautious on the road, but when it comes to his billionaire boss’s alleged secrets, he’s spilling everywhere and making a huge PR mess. Case-in-point: this Hollywood Reporter story where he claims he delivered at least $1 million in cash to Redstone’s stable of kept women.
The driver—Tim Jensen—says he was hired by Paramount Pictures to drive Redstone around town in 2011. Jensen’s job duties allegedly included squiring the 92-year-old to his favorite restaurants, taking him to the doctor, and paying off many, many ladies (“seven in total”) to the combined tune of about $1,000,000 in cash.
Finally, I was given some instructions regarding his daily life and my tasks. The regular driver outlined in minimum detail some of the people in Redstone’s world. First, there was his ex-wife Paula. Second, there was a woman who was referred to as his “number-one girl,” whose name I am excluding. Lastly, he mentioned the name Sydney, a woman about whom I would later learn a great deal more. However, at that point, I was only made aware that she was someone in Redstone’s life.
Sydney, of course, refers to Sydney Holland, Redstone’s now-girlfriend, who’s been accused of exerting undue influence over the elderly, visibly frail Viacom chairman. Redstone has recently missed multiple Viacom and CBS shareholder meetings, prompting speculation about his health, or lack thereof.
It’s unclear why no one made Jensen sign an NDA before he started working for Redstone—he claims he later declined $36,000 from Paramount to sign one after the fact—-but his recollections are deliciously full of detail and marked by mountains of shade.
I noticed an old, red subcompact car that had the driver-side mirror duct-taped in place. The 40ish woman getting out of the vehicle was attractive but also looked a bit weary in her appearance...
...A little stunned, I couldn’t understand how this woman who was dressed so inexpensively and was driving such a wreck would be joining us at the appointment.
According to Jensen, things turned around for Holland quickly. Redstone, Jensen says, soon started giving Holland more than the usual envelope of cash—by his count, she received a new wardrobe, a Porsche Cayenne, a $1.825 million Los Angeles home, a film production company, Viacom stock, charity donations, and memberships at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club and the Riviera Country Club. Page Six reports she’s probably already received somewhere between $50 and $100 million in cash and gifts.
Redstone’s lawyer dismissed Jensen’s claims without outright denying them, telling the Hollywood Reporter, “Tim Jensen is a disgruntled ex-employee of the Viacom-Paramount film group. He has made claims in the past, and we don’t believe they have any merit.”