Rep for daughter Kerri Kasem tells TheWrap that wife Jean is holding up the process of burying the radio legend
Radio legend Casey Kasem died one month ago Tuesday, but his remains have not yet been buried, a rep for daughter Kerri Kasem told TheWrap.
The rep, Danny Deraney, added that there is no family dispute ongoing: “Kerri gave the body back to Jean the moment he died,” Deraney said.
Deraney said that the remains are still at a mortuary in Tacoma, Washington and have not yet been claimed. Jean Kasem’s reps did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. However, Deraney said the entire family was aware of Casey Kasem’s desire to be buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif.
The hospital where Kasem died, St. Anthony’s, which is just outside of Seattle, Wash., tells TheWrap that it was Jean’s responsibility to make burial arrangements, and that the hospital has been under the impression that she was doing so.
Beyond that, when asked, the rep confirmed that it is normal for next-of-kin to make arrangements immediately when a loved one passes. The spokesperson suggested that the out-of-state nature of this case — California to Washington — can complicate matters further.
Kasem suffered from Lewy body disease, a progressive form of dementia that left him unable to speak, eat or move on his own. He was transferred to hospice care in Washington state shortly before his death, following a weeks-long battle between wife Jean Kasem and his adult children from a previous marriage, over his medical care. He died in the early morning hours on June 15 at age 82.
Kasem’s final weeks were marred by controversy, with his children accusing Jean of kidnapping their father and abusing him.
In May of 2014, Kasem’s children reported him missing, prompting Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy to order an investigation into the star’s whereabouts. An attorney representing Jean told the judge that Kasem was out of the country, but could not offer specifics as to where he might be.
Days later, Kasem was found at a friend’s residence in Washington state. A judge then granted his daughter Kerri Kasem expanded powers to look into the entertainer’s failing health, however, the family saga continued to take a series of bizarre turns.
A few days later, Jean threw raw meat at Kerri, who brought an ambulance to the home where her father was staying to transport him to the hospital. Casey Kasem was moved to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, a suburb of Seattle, on Jun. 1. A few days later he was transferred to hospice care to live out his final days.
The beloved broadcaster rose to fame as the host of the national radio show “American Top 40.” The weekly program, which launched on July 4, 1970, featured Kasem counting down the most popular songs in the country. It became a smash hit and remained on the air until 1988. Kasem re-launched the show in 1998, which Ryan Seacrest currently hosts.
Kasem was also the voice of Shaggy on the animated series “Scooby Doo,” and he had parts in several movies including the 1967 film “Mouth,” “Knife” in 1969 and he had a small role in “The Cycle Savages,” which starred Bruce Dern, according to Kasem’s IMDB page.
Anita Bennett contributed to this report.