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Ailing DJ Casey Kasem‘s daughter, Kerri Kasem, continued her battle with stepmother Jean Kasem over her father’s health care.
“I want this evil woman in jail for what she has done to this family,” she said, while her private investigator Logan Clarke explained: “I’ve been hired to get Jean Kasem arrested,” and said that the Santa Monica police “assured me they’re going to investigate” her for elder abuse. Santa Monica Police Department is investigating their elder abuse allegations, says spokesman Jay Moroso, “to determine if the facts substantiate the allegations.” Moroso has left the Public Information Officer position, and is working part-time until the next PIO is appointed.
In May, Jean Kasem took Casey Kasem from a Santa Monica hospital to Washington State, where he is now at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
“His doctor said he’s dying from sepsis developed at some point since his transition from Santa Monica. Most likely, he would’ve lived a year, a year-and-a-half [in Santa Monica]. Now it’s a matter of days, weeks or hours,” alleged Clarke.
Jean Kasem did not reply to emails from The Hollywood Reporter, but in a June 9 court declaration, she wrote, “I have spared no expense to ensure that [Casey] receives state-of-the-art medical treatment and 24-hour-a-day care,” noting that on Jan. 14, a judge found that she was providing “excellent” care for her husband. On May 7, LAPD found “no evidence of elder abuse,” and on May 14, a Kitsap County, Wash. sheriff’s officer “did not have any concerns about Casey’s wellbeing [sic].”
“Jean put Casey in an SUV with a Mexican caretaker—no doctor, no nurse. She got in another SUV, and drove in this bizarre caravan,” says Clarke. Kerri Kasem says Jean Kasem moved Casey five times to prevent her and her family from visiting him, then fled California when Kerri found him. “The whole Vegas, Nevada, Washington trip was a continuation of evading the daughters,” says Clarke. “The guy driving the car is Jean’s boyfriend of several years.”
Kerri Kasem’s attorney Troy Martin wrote attorney Amy McEvoy on March 19, “Mrs. Kasem has been lying to Mr. Kasem for at least two years, telling him that they are divorced. What possible motive could Mrs. Kasem have for such cruelty? Perhaps the younger gentleman that is staying at the Malibu house and driving Mr. Kasem’s car could answer that question for us.”
“She did not give him 24/7 medical care,” says Clarke, “Not even close. I have proof. I have doctor notes that repeatedly say, ‘Wife keeps saying she is coming to visit Mr. Kasem but never shows up.’ At one hospital, they discharged him, and she didn’t even come to pick him up or even call for nine days! The Santa Monica doctor told Jean ‘it could be fatal’ to remove his feeding tube. It was surgically implanted. She hung up on him.”
But Dr. Donald Sharman, who treated Mr. Kasem on May 13, 17 and 24 at the Silverdale, Washington, home to which Jean Kasem took him, observed Mr. Kasem’s “steady improvement” under his care, and wrote that “moving Mr. Kasem to the hospital was detrimental to his health.” Jean Kasem’s attorney Steven Haney says that Kerri Kasem “ordered the hospital to cease all care for Casey, guaranteeing that he will die a slow, agonizing death.”
But on June 9, Dr. Juan C. Iregui, a palliative medicine specialist, said it’s worse than futile to keep giving Mr. Kasem artificial nutrition and hydration, which increase throat and lung secretions and risk “tube feedings regurgitation [and] suffocation.” Added Iregui, “It will at best prolong the dying process for him and add suffering to an already terribly uncomfortable dying process with wounds, contracture and pain.” Iregui recommended Casey be taken to a hospice, “where a patient can experience a natural and comfortable dying process surrounded by his family.”
Haney accuses Kerri Kasem of wanting to cash in on her father’s death. “Kerri was cut off in 2007 after she accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans,” says Haney. “Casey and Jean’s fear is that any money going to the Scientologist kids would end up in the ‘Church.’ Instead, he gave Kerri and her two siblings and Liberty [Jean and Casey’s daughter] a $2,000,000 insurance policy.”
“Absolute lies,” says Kerri Kasem. “This will be part of my defamation suit. I never took loans from my Dad and he never ‘cut me off.’ We have an irrevocable trust that was set up 30 years ago. I have never gone a week without either seeing my Dad or talking to him on the phone until Jean blocked me, my brother and my sister Julie.”
“The kids did not come around from 2007, when they were cut off,” says Haney. “They showed up in 2013 when they heard Casey was dying—a final desperate effort to hook into his $80,000,000 estate. Kerri, along with her Scientologist friends, picketed in front of Jeannie’s house, Jeannie received death threats, someone went through their trash.” Clarke denies that finding Casey Kasem required trespassing or lawbreaking. “I can find anyone, no matter where they are,” says Clarke.
“All of this conduct is consistent with what the Scientologists do with members who try to escape the restrictions,” says Haney.
“If you look at the protest pictures, every single person in that picture is one of Casey’s dear friends or a family member,” says Kerri Kasem spokesman Danny Deraney. “They were all blocked access to Casey by Jean Kasem. The only way they could see him is at Kerri or Julie’s house. Julie, Mike and Kerri saw their dad every week and talked to him on the phone every single day until she ripped his phone out of the room. Jean would fire any caretaker if they allowed him to talk to his children.”
On June 9, Jean Kasem accused Kerri Kasem of wanting “to somehow capture her lost inheritance,” and demanded “an immediate and thorough investigation” of her stepdaughter’s efforts.
In a series of Mar. 4 emails submitted to the court, Kerri’s sister Julie Kasem told Jean Kasem, “I feel so sad for dad that his wishes to see his children are being denied.” Jean Kasem, angry because Julie Kasem did not tell her how she found out where Casey was, replied, “I’m just protecting him like I once protected you.”
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