PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – A Washington state judge on Friday granted a daughter of ailing radio personality Casey Kasem regular visits after she raised concerns about his well-being.
The ruling by Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Forbes added another twist to the ongoing dispute between Kasem’s wife, Jean, and her stepdaughter, Kerri Kasem, who has said in legal filings that her father suffers from a form of dementia.
Kerri Kasem said in court that her father is suffering from bedsores along with lung and bladder infections.
Casey Kasem, who was not in court, gained fame with his radio music countdown shows, “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40.” Now 82, he and his wife have been staying with family friends west of Seattle.
Jean Kasem has been in control of his medical care and has controlled access to him, blocking three of his children from seeing him in recent months, according to court filings.
In an impromptu news conference Friday afternoon on the lawn of the home where the couple has been staying, Jean Kasem scolded those children.
“Shame on these children! Shame! Who have done this to their father and who have shredded my family,” she said.
Last week, she was served with a California court order that temporarily suspended her powers to determine his medical treatment and expanded Kerri Kasem’s authority to determine whether her father is receiving adequate care. By then, the couple had travelled from California to Washington state.
While allowing Kerri Kasem to visit her father, the judge also set a June 6 court date to further consider whether to enforce the California court order. Forbes also allowed Kerri Kasem to have a doctor of her choosing examine her father.
During the hearing, Jean Kasem’s attorney, Joel Paget, said Casey Kasem is being cared for by professional staff as well as his wife. The lawyer denied that Casey Kasem’s health has deteriorated since he was moved to Washington state.
“They came up here to get some peace and quiet,” Paget said.
Lawyers for Jean Kasem also raised concerns about the possibility of pictures of Casey Kasem being given to the media. The judge told Kerri Kasem that any images from her visits could not be distributed beyond herself or her lawyer.
Jean Kasem spoke only briefly in hushed tones in the courtroom.
Forbes said Kerri Kasem will be allowed daily visits for up to an hour. She also ruled that Casey Kasem must stay in Washington state unless a deal is struck to return him to California, and that Kerri Kasem could bring a witness to her visits with her father.
“I actually would like to have somebody in there,” she said. “I have been accused of things I haven’t done. It’s for my protection.”
Outside the courtroom, Liberty Kasem, the daughter of Casey and Jean Kasem, told reporters that she has tried unsuccessfully to talk to her sister about the situation.
“I love my dad. I do. Honestly. My mom and I care for him. He’s doing really good in Washington,” Liberty Kasem said.
Earlier this month, a judge in Los Angeles expressed concerns about Casey Kasem’s safety and whereabouts after an attorney for his wife said he did not know where Kasem was.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office tracked him down the next day and said appropriate medical care was being provided.