Casey Kasem court documents reveal details of family dispute

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Casey Kasem, 82, became famous for hosting the “American Top 40,” a syndicated weekly radio show. He also was the voice of Shaggy on "Scooby Doo." (AP Photo/Eric Jamison, File)

Casey Kasem’s wife was given a court order Friday to get the radio legend into a care facility.

One of Kasem’s daughters believes that her dad's wife, Jean Kasem, removed Casey Kasem from California to limit his daughter’s ability to have access to her father and to fulfill her responsibilities as temporary conservator, according to court documents obtained Friday afternoon by KIRO 7.

Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, was granted exclusive authority to make health care decisions for her father.

Casey Kasem, 82, became famous for hosting the “American Top 40,” a syndicated weekly radio show. He hosted that program from 1970-1988 and again from 1998-2003. He also hosted “Casey’s Top 40” from 1989 to 1998 and was the voice of Shaggy on “Scooby Doo.”

Kasem is suffering from a form of dementia called Lewy body disease, according to court records.

Court documents filed this week include text messages between Jean and Julie Kasem, the former radio host’s other daughter. In one, Kasem’s wife said he entrusted her to not end up as tabloid fodder. Kasem’s daughter then questioned why Jean Kasem told celebrity website TMZ she was in talks with folks at Bravo to be on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Court documents also allege that Jean Kasem incorrectly told her husband they were divorced and that his caregivers were forced to stay overnight with him or take them to their own homes because his wife failed to relieve them. 

On Tuesday a judge in Los Angeles expanded the powers of Casey Kasem's daughter to determine whether her father is receiving adequate medical care amid the judge's ongoing concerns about the health and welfare of the ailing radio personality.

The judge also appointed an attorney and doctor to evaluate Casey Kasem, but neither had been able to contact him or his wife by Tuesday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered Kasem's wife to comply with court orders allowing doctors to evaluate her husband and also to allow his daughter to see him. He also ordered Jean Kasem to surrender her husband's passport and temporarily suspended her powers to determine her husband's medical care.

Murphy's orders came after the second hearing in a week in which lawyers for Jean Kasem have said they could not disclose where Casey Kasem is located. Authorities found him in Kitsap County in Washington last week after Murphy ordered adult protective services to locate him, but the judge said the lack of additional information and cooperation troubles him.

Murphy ordered last week that Kasem could not be moved without another court order, and he stressed on Tuesday that Kasem should be medically evaluated as soon as possible.

Jean Kasem was represented at Tuesday's court hearing by two attorneys from different firms, which added to Murphy's exasperation about the lack of information about her husband, his whereabouts and what actions she had taken.

"I'm not sure she's even complying with my order," Murphy said.

The judge said Kerri Kasem could hire an unarmed private investigator to help find her father if necessary.

Samuel Ingham, an attorney appointed to represent Casey Kasem, said he was troubled by information he had received that his client had been removed from a medical care facility in the middle of the night and the lack of cooperation he had received from Jean Kasem.

Jean Kasem's attorney, Craig Marcus, pointed to statements by a sheriff's spokesman in Kitsap County in Washington that Kasem appeared to be receiving good medical care when he was located last week.

Ingham said Kasem's family couldn't know for sure until after a doctor evaluated him.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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