“A harrowing ordeal that played out in the media, has inspired one woman to help others avoid the heartbreak she endured. Many viewers may remember Kerri Kasem’s battle to visit her father, radio icon Casey Kasem during his final months– she says, only to be rebuffed by his wife, who moved him from state to state, including here in Washington, before he passed away in June. Kerri is promoting a bill to help others in her situation get the rights they need to visit and tend to an ailing parent. Kerri shared more about the legislation, as well as how her Kasem Cares Foundation, is working to help families facing similar situations.”
SEATTLE — The daughter of the legendary Casey Kasem, host of “American Top 40” radio and TV show, is breaking her silence about the death of her famous father following a very public national drama played out near Seattle last year.
In her first full interview about it, Kerri Kasem explained how her famous father was kept from his family by his second wife, and the legal battle to get him back – even though it was too late to save his life.
“The doctor said, quote, ‘what was done to this man was inhumane’,” she said.
She warns it is the same nightmare that thousands of families face every year. And, she said, she intends to do something about it.
Casey Kasem was a friend of an entire generation, and Kerri said she is “so proud of my dad!”
Kerri Kasem says her famous dad, despite a divorce, was always there for his kids even at the height of his career. But Kerri accuses his second wife Jean Kasem of isolating him in his ailing years, eventually taking him to a tiny house near Bremerton despite his grave condition.
“Adult children don’t have the rights to ask for visitation to an ailing parent,” she said. “The only people that can give visitation is a spouse, a guardian, a conservator. And if any of those people say no, sorry – you’re never going to see your dad or mom again.”
By Victor R. Martinez / El Paso Times /
Texas House Bill 2665 — which partly states that if death is imminent, an emergency hearing must be held within 10 days — was approved by the House on May 8.
The bill also would require guardians to notify adult children of significant changes in their ailing parent’s health and of funeral arrangements after death.
“It was an awful situation, but it’s one I’ve seen before (without the same media attention) as an attorney,” Moody said in a statement to the El Paso Times in April. “No child should suffer the heartbreak of having a parent kept from them.”
He added, “The current law not only makes it possible for the guardian of an incapacitated adult to stand between that person and their children, it doesn’t provide any legal way for children to fight back.”
Kasem’s plight began in late 2013 when Casey Kasem’s second wife, Jean Kasem, allegedly prevented his children from seeing their father. He died in June 2014.
“My father told the court over and over again that he wanted to see his kids, and the court had no ability to rule on visitation,” Kasem said. “This bill would allow the judge to rule on visitation, it’s as simple as that.”
If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, Texas would be the second state to have such legislation.
Dinah Street, Joe Moody, Kerri Kasem and other supportive citizens testifying before a senate committee on behalf of the “Visitation Bill”.
You can watch video at the 12 min 40 second mark, the VISITATION BILL being discussed before the Texas committee in Austin: (Kerri Kasem and Dinah Street speak at 14:56): http://tlcsenate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php
Kasem Cares Foundation – Governor signs the Visitation Bill – Kerri Kasem
(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced that he will sign Senate File 306 on Friday, April 24, 2015, at 3 p.m. in the Governor’s Formal Office. Senate File 306 is an act relating to communication and visitation between an adult ward and another person.
The governor will be joined by Kerri Kasem, daughter of Casey Kasem, who lobbied for the bill after her late father was moved from his nursing home in California, first to Nevada and then to Washington without his children’s knowledge or consent. Kerri Kasem began lobbying lawmakers in states across the country for legislation that would prevent similar instances. Iowa will become the first state to enact such a bill.
Host: Kurt Kelly interviews the talented Kerri Kasem