Casey Kasem has been, for many of us, a familiar voice tied to our childhoods and teen years. As the man behind several beloved cartoon characters–including Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo”–and as a radio personality, Kasem has been a part of our lives for decades now. For that reason, news of his declining health has come as a shock to many, and the family drama playing out behind the scenes has saddened his many fans and friends.
Kasem’s daughters, Julie and Kerri, say that their father doesn’t have long after battling dementia and several physical ailments, including bedsores, over the past several months. Their stepmother, actress Jean Kasem, has been locked in a battle with them while trying to keep Kasem on life support, but they say that he didn’t want to be given artificial nutrition and medicine if there was no quality of life.
Keeping Kasem on the life support system will “at best prolong the dying process for him and will certainly add suffering to an already terribly uncomfortable dying process,” said Troy Martin, Kerri Kasem’s lawyer.
Kerri Kasem was given conservatorship over her father recently and had him removed from his home to be examined by a doctor, which caused an uproar and ended in Jean Kasem reportedly throwing raw meat at her. Kerri and sister Julie issued a statement recently, however, saying she wanted to put all differences aside in the hopes that her father will get to see all his loved ones at his bedside before he passes.
“My Dad taught us that family comes first. We want to honor him and make sure all of his family, including Jean and Liberty are surrounding him with love at this critical time…If he opens his eyes, I want my Dad just once to see everyone standing around him, putting our differences aside and let him know how much he is loved by everyone,” the statement read.
Kasem’s daughters have had a longstanding feud with Jean, who has reportedly kept them from their father most of the time he’s been ill. In 2013, Julie and Kerri led a protest outside their father’s home demanding to be allowed to see him.
“I don’t get it, I don’t understand it,” Kerri told reporters. “He has Parkinson’s, and all the research we’ve done indicates socialization would help him.”
Kerri has the power to withhold Kasem’s artificial support, but it’s not clear yet whether she will.
Image via Wikimedia Commons