Accusations of kidnapping and elder abuse have turned the radio legend’s final days into a real-life soap opera
It’s probably a good thing Casey Kasem is most likely not aware of the sad family drama playing out around him as he lives out his final days.
The radio icon is currently resting in hospice care without food or water in Washington state after a long battle with Lewy body dementia, a progressive decline in mental abilities that has no cure.
As Kasem waits out what remains of his life, the 82-year-old is surrounded by family and friends — with one key exception. At the time of this writing, his wife Jean Kasem had not visited the former DJ since she was escorted out of St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, a suburb of Seattle, last week, according to a spokesman for Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri.
The family feud between Jean and Kasem’s children has played out very much in the public eye, making it impossible to ignore.
Jean Kasem’s attorney has not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.
Here’s a look back at the timeline of how we got to this sad chapter in the entertainer’s life.
Oct. 1, 2013: Casey Kasem’s Adult Children Protest Outside Their Father’s House
The radio legend’s children claim they haven’t seen their father in three months, saying Jean will not allow it.
Oct. 7, 2013: Julie Kasem Files for Conservatorship, Is Denied
Julie Kasem and husband Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn filed a conservatorship petition to place Casey Kasem under their care. The court denied their petition.
Dec. 2013: Kasem’s Kids Talk Family Feud
Months before Casey Kasem was reported missing, the radio legend’s children Kerri and Mike Kasem appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN show to discuss the battle in their family over visitation rights. Claiming that they had struggled with Kasem’s wife (their stepmother) Jean over visitation rights, Kerri told Morgan, “It’s like, take the person that you love most on Earth, know that they’re sick, know they want to see you — you get 20 minutes with them before being ripped away by an armed guard and having them say ‘please stay’ and you can’t.”
May 7, 2014: Kasem Was Removed From Nursing Home in Santa Monica
According to Logan Clarke, a private detective hired by Kerri Kasem, Jean removed Casey from the Berkeley East Convalescent Hospital in Santa Monica without his children’s knowledge. “The doctor warned her that this could be fatal … she told them all to go to hell,” Clarke told TheWrap on Thursday, Jun. 12.
Clarke claimed that Jean brought in a caretaker to remove Casey from a feeding tube, and that the two took hospital equipment to keep him alive. They left in two SUVs. Jean was not a passenger in the vehicle carrying Casey.
May 7-12, 2014: Kasem Develops Stage 3 Ulcers as Result of Being Moved, According to Daughter’s Private Investigator
Clarke tells TheWrap that the two SUVs drove to Nevada, then to Arizona, and back to Nevada. It is then unclear if they drove to Washington state or used a medical flight. But he has his suspicion: “As stupid and as crazy as she is, she probably drove him,” Clarke said. During this time, Clarke says the Santa Monica Police Department would not file a Missing Persons Report. Clarke claims that a doctor told the family that due to the driving and lack of medical treatment, Casey developed Stage 3 ulcers, which will likely be what he dies from.
May 12, 2014: Casey Kasem Reported Missing
Kasem had been ailing from Lewy body disease for quite some time when Los Angeles Superior Court judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered an investigation into the 82 year old’s whereabouts.
At the time, an attorney representing Kasem’s wife Jean, Craig Marcus, told the judge that the married couple was out of the country. Later it would turn out that they were in Washington state. Kasem’s children had been fighting with Jean over a conservatorship, which Kerri Kasem was temporarily granted at a hearing on Monday in Los Angeles. This was also the time of the first accusation of elder abuse against Jean by Kerri.
May 13, 2014: Kerri Kasem Vows to File Missing Persons Report
Kerri and the family released a statement saying that Adult Protective Services are looking for Casey and that they intend to file a formal Missing Persons Report to get the FBI and law enforcement involved. At this point, the kids started to believe that Casey was taken to a Native American reservation in Washington state.
May 14, 2014: Missing Persons Report Filed With SMPD, Casey Kasem Found
Kerri files a Missing Persons report with the Santa Monica Police Department. Later that day, Casey Kasem is found, but the family fears for his deteriorating health.
May 15, 2014: Authorities Rule Out Foul Play, Say Kasems Were Vacationing
Authorities who found Casey say he was “alert, upright, dressed, groomed and cognizant of what was going on,” concluding, “This wasn’t anywhere close to being suspicious.” They indicated that this was simply a man on vacation with his wife, visiting friends.
May 20, 2014: Kerri Kasem Given Expanded Powers by Judge
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered Kasem’s wife Jean to comply with court orders to allow doctors to check on him and allow Kerri to see her father. Jean also had to forfeit Casey’s passport to Kerri.
May 23, 2014: Family Still Haven’t Seen Casey, Jean Accused of “Horrible Mistreatment”
Casey’s children say they still haven’t been able to see their father, who is not in a medical facility. The kids accuse Jean of “horrible mistreatment” of their dad.
Kerri publicly wonders: “Why is she trying to block a doctor from seeing my father? What does she have to hide? If you truly love my father, you will do the right thing and allow him to get proper medical treatment.”
May 30, 2014: Kerri Kasem Granted Daily One-Hour Visits, Finally Sees Her Dad
A Washington state judge orders that Kerri Kasem be allowed to see her father for one hour every day. Kerri finally visits her father that evening.
June 1, 2014: Jean Kasem Throws Raw Hamburger Meat at Kerri in Protest
Kerri brings an ambulance to the home in Washington state where her father is staying, to transport him to the hospital. Paramedics are refused entry, and in an apparent act of defiance, Kasem’s wife Jean came outside and threw a pound of raw hamburger meat at Kerri. Paramedics were eventually able to wheel Kasem out of the home after the incident.
June 4, 2014: Jean Kasem Causes a Scene at Hospital, Is Escorted Out
Jean was escorted out of St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash., after reportedly causing a scene. Kasem’s wife was told she could stay if she calmed down, but she did not, hospital officials said.
June 5, 2014: Kasem Is in Critical Condition, Judge Orders 2 Sides to Ignore Each Other
Kasem is in critical condition, suffering from an infected bed sore. A judge ruled that both sides of his family should be allowed visitation at the same time. However, the judge also ordered the two sides not to communicate with one another while on hospital property. Kerri is given another court hearing.
June 6, 2014: Kasem Begins Hospice Care
It is revealed that the Top 40 legend is no longer receiving food or water.
June 10, 2014: Clark Speaks to the Santa Monica Police Department About Alleged Elder Abuse
Clarke says he spoke with a Captain Salerno of the Santa Monica Police Department about opening an elder abuse case. Up until this point, Clarke says he was brushed aside by law enforcement, who were practicing “selective prosecution.”
June 11, 2014: Kasem’s Children Get Judge’s Approval to Take Radio Icon Off Life Support
Casey Kasem’s children are given the go-ahead by a judge to withhold medication, food and fluids. “For the last 11 days, our father has been surrounded day and night by love and care by his daughters Kerri and Julie, his son Mike, his brother Mouner and sister-in-law Mary, and his dear friend Gonzalo Venecia,” Kerri Kasem says in a statement. “We continue to hope that Jean and Liberty will come join his family during this time.”
Meanwhile, Clarke and Salerno meet. Upon seeing Clarke’s evidence, Salerno promises to open elder abuse investigation.
June 12, 2014: Elder Abuse Charges to Be Filed Against Jean Kasem?
Kerri’s private investigator, Logan Clarke, told TheWrap that a formal elder abuse investigation from the Santa Monica PD is coming. A spokesman for Kerri Kasem tells TheWrap that Casey has not had food, water or nutrients in six days.
Tim Kenneally contributed to this report