BREMERTON — The wife of ailing radio personality Casey Kasem was served Friday with a California court order that temporarily suspends her powers to determine her husband’s medical care amid concerns about his health and welfare.
The order Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies said they delivered also expands daughter Kerri Kasem’s authority to determine whether her father, who’s now in Washington state, is receiving adequate medical care.
Wife Jean Kasem told KING-TV in an interview aired Friday evening that her husband is getting the best possible care and she is “not going to allow anybody to shred (her) family on unfounded facts and malicious accusations.”
“My husband is very happy and comfortable in our family and has told me time and time again that he wishes to remain under my care,” she said.
“Why is she trying to block a doctor from seeing my father?” Kerri Kasem asked in a statement Friday night, telling her stepmother, “If you truly love my father, you will do the right thing and allow him to get proper medical treatment.”
Kerri Kasem’s spokesman Danny Deraney said she has a special Washington state court order that allows her to see her father, but there was no timetable for when that will happen.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy ordered Jean Kasem to comply with court orders allowing doctors to evaluate her husband, and also allow his daughter Kerri 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.
In mid-May, Murphy had expressed concerns about Kasem’s whereabouts and safety amid a dispute between his wife and children from another marriage.
The sheriff’s office in Kitsap County, west of Seattle, tracked him down the next day.
Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said officers who performed a welfare check May 13 on the 82-year-old Kasem found him staying at the home of long-time family friends. Jean Kasem says they are on a family vacation.
Kasem “appeared to be not in distress,” Wilson said Friday. “He couldn’t speak but he appeared to us to be cognizant of what was going on around him and who people were.”
The sheriff’s spokesman said medications were present and those at the home, including Jean Kasem, said appropriate medical care was being provided. Medical professionals, including doctors and visiting nurses, have been “attending him as required,” Wilson said.
Kerri Kasem’s court filings state her father is suffering from a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease.
The sheriff’s spokesman noted that the officers who delivered the court order were “basically the messengers between the courts in California” and Kasem’s connections in Washington.
“We wouldn’t enforce anything until we were directed by the Washington court and coordinated with our prosecutor’s office,” Wilson said. “That hasn’t happened.”
Kasem gained fame with his radio music countdown shows, “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40,” and he was the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon “Scooby Doo.”