On Sunday June 15, 2014, the world lost a very influential and respected figure in entertainment and popular music. Casey Kasem, who is widely known as the host of America’s Top 40, as well as appeared on various other television and radio programs, was pronounced dead due to complications of sepsis and a disease known as Lew Body Disease, and a close look at this will likely show that a controversial family feud could occur. He has done everything from radio to doing voices for Sesame Street, and is most widely known for being Shaggy on Scooby-Doo. He was a beloved icon who was famous for announcing song dedications and having a smooth, deep voice when announcing the Top 40 Countdowns on radio & television.
What makes this loss particularly hard is that he happened to die on Father’s Day. One can only imagine how hard that must have been for his family. Casem had three children from his first marriage: Kerri-41, Mike-40 and Julie-38. Their stepmother, Jean Kasem, has been feuding with them over visitation rights and care of their father. Casey was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia in 2007 and as his condition worsened he eventually lost all muscle control and was unable to walk on his own or even speak. On October 1 of last year, the Kasem children joined together in protest outside of their father’s home after being denied contact for three months. Julie, the youngest of the three, decided to file a petition to become her father’s conservator in hopes to have him be placed under her care. Her stepmother Jean claimed that the daughters were creating a “toxic environment” within the household and her petition was denied by the court.
This feud seems to have stirred up a great deal of controversy within the family of Casey Kasem, and has caused many in the media to take a close look at the circumstances surrounding his death. Reports began to surface that the world-famous DJ had gone missing and was “no longer in the United States,” according to Mrs. Kasem’s attorney. It was later discovered that Mr. Kasem was found near Seattle, Washington. On Ma y 7, Jean Kasem reportedly removed her husband from life support and loaded him into the backseat of an SUV against the doctor’s wishes and put his life in jeopardy. His eldest Daughter Kerri, 41, arrived at a private residence in Seattle to pick up her father and move him via ambulance and her stepmother proceeded to allegedly throw raw meat at her. Kerri petitioned for conservatorship and was awarded custody.
Kerri filed a claim stating that her stepmother was guilty of elderly abuse. A private investigator by the name of Logan Clarke claims that he has evidence of Jean cheating on her husband for an extended period of time. He claims that he has “witnesses that have seen them kissing” and he “can prove the relationship goes back at least four to six months.” Earlier this month, Casey Kasem was said to be in critical but stable condition and was being treated for bedsores which Kerri claimed to have been caused while he was being cared for by her stepmother Jean. Mrs. Kasem fought for her husband to undergo restoration for hydration and artificial food, but this was later revoked by a judge due to Casey’s medical records stating that his system would no longer respond it artificial nutrition. He was pronounced dead on June 15 and his body was turned over to Jean Kasem. According to Kerri’s lawyer, there were “no plans to fight her stepmother over plans for her dad’s burial.”In spite of all of this controversy and legal procedures, Kerri stated that she “was grateful she was able to get to her Dad and ensure he was comfortable and surrounded by love in his final days.” It is clear that the death of Casey Kasem has caused a great deal of controversial among his family, and many will look to create a feud over who is responsible for this icon’s death.
By Brian Hanshaw