The bizarre story that is Casey Kasem’s last days took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when a Los Angeles County judge awarded his daughter, Kerri Kasem, the authority to have doctors end his infusions of water, food and medicine. According to CNN, the 82 year old radio personality is critically ill at a hospital in Washington state.
Kasem’s family has been involved in a bitter legal battle over his medical care since October 2013. The feud is between his current wife, Jean Kasem, and his children from his first marriage, who have differing opinions of what is best for the ailing pop culture icon in terms of his condition.
The family drama escalated in April of this year when Jean Kasem moved her husband from southern California to Washington state without notifying the rest of the family. This led to his daughters filing a missing persons report and petitioning the courts to allow them to see their father.
The ruling on Wednesday reinstated an end of life health directive that Casey Kasem signed in 2007, when he was told he had Parkinson’s. After the ruling, his daughter Kerri released a statement saying
“The court’s decision today upheld our father’s explicit wishes as expressed by him in his health directive.”
The LA Times reports that legal documents show Casey Kasem has been suffering from dementia and bedsores and that his body is shutting down.
Jean Kasem’s attorney Steven Haney spoke with The LA Times over the phone. He reports his client is still in California and that she is “broken-hearted” over this week’s court ruling.
Kerri Kasem’s attorney, Troy L. Martin, reported that a progress report hearing originally set for Friday has been taken off the calendar. Kerri’s powers of the temporary conservatorship remain in effect until a hearing on the permanent conservatorship takes place on June 20.
Kerri and Julie Kasem say the dispute is about love. Jean, his wife of 33 years, argues it’s about Casey’s fortune.
Casey Kasem’s voice has been beloved for decades. He counted down the “American Top 40” hits each week for nearly four decades in a radio show heard around the world. He handed those duties off to Ryan Seacrest in 2004. Kasem also voiced the cartoon character Shaggy on “Scooby-Doo” cartoons for 40 years and was the voice of the NBC television network for years. He narrated thousands of radio and television commercials during his career.
photo via abcnews.com