The wife of longtime American Top 40 host Casey Kasem has broken her silence in response to accusations by her stepchildren that she’s cut him off from the outside world.
“I care for him day in and day out and do my best to provide for his care and well-being,” Jean Kasem, 59, said in court documents filed Tuesday. “For the most part, he is now bedridden.”
Jean alleged that because of unspecified “disturbing” conduct by her stepchildren, visits with their father in the family home would be an “intolerable and an unpleasant experience for us all, including specifically [for] Casey.”
The response was filed ahead of a Tuesday court hearing initiated by Casey’s three grown children from his first marriage, who are seeking to gain legal control over his healthcare.
They say their father has advanced Parkinson’s disease, has trouble speaking and cannot walk unaided. They allege Jean, with whom they’ve long been estranged, has blocked access to their dad for the past three months.
No Evidence of Abuse
In the hearing, it was confirmed that neither police, adult welfare services nor a court-appointed attorney for Casey have found any evidence of elder abuse.
“[Casey Kasem] appears to be receiving adequate day-to-day care,” said attorney Samuel Ingham, who paid a recent visit to his client in his sprawling multimillion-dollar L.A. estate, although Ingham stated he hasn’t yet confirmed Casey’s diagnosis.
When Casey, 81, was asked by Ingham whether he wanted to see his children, “he did not answer the question, but he was well enough to carry on a conversation,” Jean’s attorney Marshall B. Grossman told reporters following the hearing.
A judge postponed any decision until Nov. 19, pending further investigation into Casey’s health.
The argument over who has the authority over Casey Kasem’s health may come down to the validity of a single document.
Casey’s daughter Julie, 38, had presented a 2007 document signed by their dad that gave Julie and her husband, a medical doctor, control over his well-being.
But Jean’s attorney Grossman described that document as a “sham,” saying it was signed under questionable means.
Grossman presented a signed 2011 document that gave Jean expressed power over her husband’s health, and argued it canceled out the earlier document which Jean said was signed “in secrecy” without her knowledge.
“Jean’s message to her stepkids is: Please respect the privacy of your father even though you don’t respect mine,” Grossman said after the hearing. “Don’t bring anymore unwanted publicity to the Kasem name. Jean determined that it wasn’t healthy for Casey to have his kids in the house. I can’t go into details why. But she had to draw the line.”
Kerri Kasem said after the hearing, “We don’t think our dad had the [mental] capacity to sign what he did. We’re not stopping to win the right to see our dad. We want visitation rights and will do whatever we can to win that.”