His name may not ring an immediate bell, but his voice sure would. Casey Kasem has hosted "America's Top 40", one of the most widely listened to radio shows, for decades. Now, at age 81, he is battling the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, and his wife, Jean Kasem, is not allowing his children to visit him.
Casey's three eldest children, from a previous marriage, Mike, Julie, and Kerri, staged a protest outside of their father's Los Angeles mansion on October 1, trying to convince their step-mother to let them see their father.
"My dad is very sick, and we have been completely shut off from him for the last three months," Kerri said. "There is no money issue here, we just want to see our dad. We love him, and everyone knows his kids and grandkids are a source of joy for him."
Casey's will does not name his children as beneficiaries, but they say that is not the reason
they want to see him. They all have very good jobs and trust funds of their own, and say money is not an issue.
"Look, people fight and they don't like each other, and that's fine. But it's cruel to keep us from seeing our dad," Kerri said. "We don't want any money from Jean. We don't care about that. We were raised well, and we support ourselves."
All three children admit that they haven't had the best relationship with Jean, but say it is cruel to keep them away from their father.
"I don't want any of his money, I don't want his estate, I don't want anything," Julie said. "I simply want to see my father on a regular basis . . . give him a hug, hold his hand, give him a massage, put a smile on his face. It's that simple."
Along with Casey's children, the group protesting included many of Casey's friends and co-workers. Jean immediately called the police to keep the group away from her home.
"They said it was a 'high alert' call. I guess my dad's 70-year-old friends are a threat," Kerri said. "Most of them were just sitting there."
Image via Wikimedia Commons