Who Is Jean Kasem? Casey’s Wife Feuded With Children Before His Death

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem passed away at the age of 82 on Sunday. Reuters

Casey Kasem’s wife Jean was involved in a bitter battle over her husband’s care before his death Sunday. He was 82.

The legendary radio host entertained people for decades, but some fans were intrigued by a different story before Kasem’s passing: the feud of stepmother versus stepchildren.

Some strange things were happening before the radio host died. In October his children claimed Jean was keeping him hostage. His three oldest children --Kerri, Mike and Julie, born to first wife Linda Myers -- said the blonde actress was keeping their father from them.

Kasem was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2006, and the once-boisterous radio host was practically silenced by his illness. He was unable to walk without assistance and had trouble speaking.

It started to seem like Jean was holding her husband hostage after his children and a dozen of friends gathered outside his 2.4-acre estate in Los Angeles with cardboard signs, as if they were refuges pleading for food.

A week later, the three oldest children filed papers with the LA Superior Court requesting a conservatorship over their father's health care. 

"When he was healthy, our dad used to talk to us all the time. We're his joy," Kerri told People at the time. "Now we've been cut off from him. The same goes for many of his friends. We just want to know that our dad is okay."

Jean and Kasem’s children came to a visitation agreement in December, but it didn’t last long. In May, Kasem went “missing.” His children didn’t know where his was and thought Jean might have moved him out of the country, CNN reported at the time. It was later discovered Jean removed him from a facility in Santa Monica to Washington state, but not before his children filed a missing person’s report.

Though Kasem is gone, he will certainly not be forgotten, and hundreds of thousands will remember his sign-off message: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella 

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