Casey Kasem’s Widow Files Lawsuit Against His Children

Raechal Leone Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Casey Kasem and wife Jean, seen here in 2004, were married in 1980. (Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Three years after the death of radio personality Casey Kasem, the long, sad saga of the fight between his widow, Jean Kasem, and his three adult children continues.

In the latest move, Jean has filed a lawsuit in federal court in that state of Washington against Kerri, Mike, and Julie Kasem — Casey’s children from his marriage to Linda Myers Naylor, which ended in 1979. She is accusing the three of participating in a “homicidal guardianship scam” that led to Casey’s death in order to take control of the star’s estimated $80 million estate. Casey, who suffered from Lewy body dementia in the final years of his life, died at 82 on June 15, 2014.

Jean now claims the children took control of Casey’s medical care against the orders of a judge, then “chemically restrained him, and ordered hospital staff to withdraw food and water,” resulting in his death, according to a press release from her team announcing the lawsuit. The owner and operater of the hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington where Kasem died was also named in the suit.

“The truth about my husband’s homicide is so disturbing to confront but I am compelled to seek justice,” said Jean, who had an adult daughter, Liberty, with Kasey. “After an exhaustive forensic investigation following Casey’s death and autopsy, there was no other choice but to bring this lawsuit. The facts unambiguously point to defendants’ deceit, self-dealing and fraud, which demand to be exposed. I have taken this action for my daughter Liberty and for my husband of 35 years, as I’m certain Casey would have done the same for me.

“I pray the justice we seek is quick and thoroughly delivered, not only for us, but for all of the vulnerable and elderly who are subjected to the same predatory and abusive conduct by those who are anxious for them to die for illicit and immediate financial gain.”

If the story sounds familiar, it’s probably because Casey’s children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jean in November 2015. They accused her of moving their father between medical facilities and residences to keep him from them and his healthcare team, resulting in death earlier than expected, as well as elder abuse and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Casey’s brother, Mouner, was a plaintiff, too. In May 2016, the children added their step-sister Liberty as a defendant.

Casey Kasem and his children, Mike and Kerri, walk the red carpet in 2005. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

“Casey’s early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean’s neglect and physical abuse of Casey,” the lawsuit stated.

Los Angeles County prosecutors announced in May 2015 they wouldn’t be filing elder abuse charges against Jean.

In Casey’s last years, his family feuded over who could visit, how he would be cared for, and even where he would be buried. His death was cited as a reminder for the importance of having conversations about end-of-life care before they’re needed. However, the American Top 40 star had signed over the power of attorney to his older children when he became ill in 2007, asking that he not be kept alive for “a mere biological existence.”

In October 2013, Kerri and Julie staged a protest of sorts outside their father’s L.A. mansion, demanding to see him. They claimed their step-mother threw dog meat at them.

At the time that Casey died, Kerri, Mike, and Julie gave a statement. “The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian,” they said. “We will miss our dad.”

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