At the NAB RadioShow today Kerri Kasem told the story of her late father’s last days.
The battle between Casey Kasey’s children and step mother has been well documented, but Kerri gave a personal insight into what happened in a touching session at the conference.
The tragic story is of a manipulative second wife who excluded Casey’s children from seeing him.
But Kasey ‘found her voice’ and spoke up for others like her who have been excluded from seeing their older relatives.
“Nobody should have to go through this,” she told the audience. “So I decided to do something about it.”
Kerri began to lobby politicians and began a court case to change the laws regarrding visitation rights and ‘elder abuse.’
Her fight was successful and now there is a law in America that allows judges to rule on visitation rights for people excluded from seeing their older relatives because someone else has power of attorney. Due to her actions, Kerri and her siblings were able to see see their father in his last days, despite their step-mother trying to block access by using armed guards and moving him from place to place.
Kerri has started the Kasem Cares Foundation to further the work she began and to encourage people to make proper wills and have multiple people who have power of attorney, not just one.
The inspiring story of Kerri Kasem’s journey to ‘find her voice’ has helped many people in America who were facing the same problem.
Kerri Kasem followed in her father’s footsteps and has worked in radio and tv. She was co-host with Alan Stock on KXNT 840 AM for a morning radio talk show until 2007, and has worked on radio shows such as Racing Rocks, the National Lampoon Comedy Countdown, The Solomon Free Money Hour, and Pet Talk. She co-hosted the nationally syndicated Sixx Sense and The Side Show Countdown With Nikki Sixx from February 2010 to April 2014 and now co-hosts a weekly legal show called Gurvey’s Law on KABC Talk Radio
In her RadioShow conference presentation she talked about how her dad instilled in her a good work ethic. “My dad didn’t just give us things he taught us to work hard for them. When I wanted something I would ask my dad for it, he usually told me ‘work for it, get a job.’ So I saw the court battle as not just for me, but for all those people who didn’t have the money to take on that battle…”
“I have turned my darkest hours into something good. My dad would have been proud of me.”
Kerri revealed that Casey Kasem’s second wife, Jean, had shut out the children from Casey’s first marriage and when Casey got sick, she had denied them access. “She left him in the old people’s home and blocked us from seeing him… She didn’t go and see him either, she was busy with her next boyfriend.”
“We found out that she had done the same thing to her own mother and relatives.”
To regain access to their dad, who was on record as saying he wanted to see them, Kerri and her siblings had to go through a guardianship battle. “I found out that adult children have no rights in respect of their ageing parents if someone else has power of attorney. We had no legal right to visit him once Jean had declared that we were not to see him.”
“Old people can be tricked into signing away their rights and when that happens you can be blocked from an ailing loved one. When I started talking about this on radio I got hundreds of contacts from people facing the same problem. So I had to do something about it.”
The law changed shortly before Casey died, allowing his children to once again gain access.
“My dad died a year and a half ago. It was fathers day. I looked up June 15, the date of his death, and I found out that it was also UN Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It was a sign. Even though my dad is dead, I’m not stopping… the people who do things like this deserve to be in jail… my step mother deserves to be in jail…”
The painful fight for access to her father has impassioned Kerri to continue the campaign.
“I thought I had a passion for radio when I began my radio show, but when I found this cause I really found passion and fire in me that I never had before. I love radio… I’m paid to talk, but that passion was superceded by the passion for this cause.
“Being able to talk about what was going on in my life was cathartic. For 34 years I was being told sssh, don’t tell anyone what Jean is doing. When I was finally able to talk about what was going on with me and my family for so many years was healing.
I had a show with 4 million listeners on 150 stations. When I began to talk about it people started talking about it too, telling their stories, so I guess it was healing for them too.”
Why did Jean, Casey’s second wife behave that way?
“I don’t know why. What she did to my dad was cruel, intentional and evil. He was a man who gave her everything and loved her, and she did that to him. I don’t know why, maybe she’s a sociopath.”
The 2015 Radio Show, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), is being held in Atlanta USA with attendence just announced as 2,170 people, up over one hundred from last year. Next year’s Radio Show will be held in Nashville.