Casey Kasem is best known for his radio work and his voice work as Shaggy on Scooby Doo. Now, reports indicate that Casey Kasem is dying due to a terminal illness and his declining health seems to be prompting several lawsuits creating great amounts of chaos among the icon’s inner circles.
The 81-year-old entertainer has only months to live, according to documents presented to a judge in small claims court last Friday. The court case involved a former caretaker, Hilda Loza, who is suing Mr. Kasem’s wife, Jean, for $10,000. She claims that Jean was verbally abusive during her employ with the Kasems and that she experienced extreme emotional distress after many insults and false accusations from Jean. Jean was reported to have insulted her cooking and accused her of stealing food, toilet paper, etc. Loza claims that the accusations were posed as insinuations that Loza was the type of person to do such things.
Jean did not go to court for this case, instead sending her lawyer’s wife with documentation that stated that Casey Kasem was terminally ill and had only a few months left to live. The letter asked for an extension to the court date but the case was ultimately dismissed after it was determined that the Kasems had not properly been given notice of the proceedings against them.
This is not the only controversy surrounding Jean Kasem at this time. Casey’s children from his first marriage are suing Jean for conservatorship after she has barred them from seeing their father. Marshal B. Grossman, Jean’s attorney, states that the relationship concerning the three eldest Kasem children was too “toxic” to be continued or for them to be allowed inside the home. Casey Kasem’s children claim that they just want to see their ailing father and that they are worried about his well-being.
Among the children’s concerns are that as Casey Kasem is dying, he is not being cared for properly and that the chaos surrounding their father is the result of his being taken advantage of during the great cognitive decline he is suffering.
Extended family, including Casey’s siblings, lend support to his children. Recently a protest was held outside the Kasem residence during which family members held up signs that said things like, “Why?” or ” I miss my brother.” The eldest Kasem offspring have also accused Jean of possibly abusing their father and imprisoning him within his own home. They have not been able to see their father since July.
Jean, through a written statement, claimed that the behavior of the three estranged children was atrocious and would create harmful stress that Casey should not be exposed to it. She declined to elaborate for the time being, saying she preferred to spare any party unnecessary embarrassment. Casey’s fourth child, the youngest and the child he had with Jean, is still able to see her father.
Casey Kasem has been diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. He has lost his ability to speak and requires constant medical care. He can no longer walk and has been described as mostly bedridden. As part of the accusations of abuse brought on by his daughters he was examined by a doctor who determined that his care was “adequate.”
Grossman says that his client receives “excellent care” from “around the clock professionals.”
Some have accused Kasem’s children of money grabbing but they insist that they only want to see their father. They have remained consistent in this message, stating repeatedly that they will fight to the bitter end to have visitation rights with Casey as his health fails.
Apart from the Kasem children and the former caretaker initiating lawsuits against her, Jean Kasem is also suing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for allegedly overcharging her and her husband on utilities for the last 24 years.
Earlier this year she sued New Life Custom Painting for $80,000. The lawsuit claims that she hired them and was promised a five year warranty on their work but that they only partially completed the job and the quality of their work was severely lacking. According to the lawsuit, attempts to reach the company by Jean’s attorney yielded no results as the company seems to have disappeared.
The lawsuit between Jean Kasem and the eldest Kasem children is ongoing. Attempts by Julie Kasem, Casey’s daughter, to secure conservatorship were not successful due to the ruling that Casey’s care was adequate. Further review of Casey’s medical records has been ordered and the next court date is set for November 19. The news that Casey is dying is likely adding a great sense of urgency to the Kasem family as they struggle to sort out the chaos before it is too late. “All this is about is seeing my brother,” said Casey’s brother, Mouner Kasem, in an interview, “being able to tell him I love him and I know he loves us.”
Written by: Vanessa Blanchard