The death of DJ Casey Kasem has unleashed a potential elder abuse lawsuit by his daughter against her estranged stepmother in an area of law that continues to grow in importance, for lawyers and clients alike.
The Kasem issue arises from various claims relating to his widow’s alleged cheating on Kasem prior to his death, claiming she was romantically involved with a younger man who lived at their Malibu home.
The mystery man was mentioned in court paperwork that helped Kasem’s firstborn, Kerri Kasem, win conservatorship over her dying dad last month, the NY Daily News reports.
A letter attached as an exhibit to her May 7 probate petition claimed Jean Kasem previously told her husband — who suffered from a progressive form of dementia called Lewy body disease — that their marriage was over.
“Even more heartbreaking is the fact that Mr. Kasem told (one of his doctors) that he had been divorced from Mrs. Kasem for years,” Kerri Kasem’s lawyer, Troy Martin, wrote in the confidential March 19 letter to Jean Kasem’s lawyers seeking visitation.
“Witnesses will testify that Mrs. Kasem has been lying to Mr. Kasem for at least two years, telling him that they are divorced,” the letter states. “What possible motive could Mrs. Kasem have for such cruelty? Perhaps the younger gentleman that has been staying at the Malibu house and driving Mr. Kasem’s car could answer that question for us.”
Jean Kasem’s lawyer did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment.
Kasem, 82, died at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash., early Sunday after battling his advancing disease and sepsis in recent weeks.
The Rising Issue of Elder Abuse
Edler abuse is becoming a more significant issue with the rising ‘baby boomer’ population across the Western World
In the United States a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that over five hundred thousand Americans are subjected to elder abuse each year.
This may be under reported because the victim is too old, infirm, or afraid to report it. The CDC recognizes six kinds of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, and also neglect and abandonment.