'American Top 40' Flashback: July 4, 1970
'American Top 40' Flashback: July 4, 1970

DJ Casey Kasem, 82, who suffers from dementia and is worth $80 million, was taken from a friend's home in Silverdale, Wash., to a hospital on June 1 as his wife, Jean Kasem, angrily hurled hamburger meat, muttering about King David and dogs. Her macabre outburst, meant to satirize the press -- and Kasem's family -- as canine carnivores devouring her dying husband, may have also been an allusion to the Bible's Psalm 59, attributed by some to King David: "Deliver me from myenemies...let them make a noise like a dog...let them wander up and down for meat."

Said Jean Kasem, "If you want to know why I did it, when a person is about to pass away, there are always rabid dogs."

Casey Kasem Can Go Home to Wife If Doctors Approve, Judge Says

Several Kasem family members claim that the incident shows Jean Kasem herself potentially has mental illness. "In my opinion, it does," Kasem's daughter Kerri Kasem tells THR. "She is absolutely crazy -- no, I really mean it," says Linda Myers Naylor, Casey Kasem's first wife and the mother of his daughters Kerri and Julie Kasem, who are battling Jean Kasem over Casey Kasem's treatment. "It's been like this for 34 years," says Casey's brother Mouner Kasem. "She's crazy. I'm not joking." "Crazy, crazy, crazy," Julie Kasem says of her stepmother's actions. "It reminds me of Austin Powers saying, 'Who throws a shoe?'" says Kerri Kasem's publicist Danny Deraney. "I mean, who throws meat?"

Jean Kasem told Seattle's NBC affiliate KING 5 that in May, both LAPD and Silverdale's Kitsap County Sheriff found no abuse of Mr. Kasem. Kitsap Judge Jennifer Forbes ruled June 2 that Mrs. Kasem can bring Casey home to Silverdale with the doctor's okay. Jean Kasem thinks it's the legal system that has gone crazy. "The probate system in California is broken and vulnerable in facilitating corruption, and if no one wants to fix it, then I will," she said. "My husband is very happy and comfortable in our family, and has told me time and time again that he wishes to remain under my care and does not want a conservator. The fact that Sam Ingham III, a PVP [probate volunteer panel] attorney, brought with him an armed guard strikes with me as near psychotic."

"When Kerri got to the Silverdale house, Jean had hired 70-year-old Vietnam vets in leather chaps as guards," Deraney retorts.

"She is pathological," continues Naylor. "My daughters are trying very, very hard to bring him back [to health], to get the right medical care. When they saw him in Santa Monica [at a hospital] May 6, he recognized them and was very happy."

After that May 6 visit, Jean Kasem removed Mr. Kasem from the hospital and disappeared. Authorities located them in Silverdale. After Kerri Kasem saw her father again, the shock of his apparent decline after 24 days made her cry. "Casey has a 50 percent chance to make it six more months," says Deraney.

Casey Kasem's Wife Ordered to Court

On June 3 and again on June 6, there will be hearings in Washington on the case. "On June 20, there is a hearing that will decide on the temporary [health] conservatorship Kerri has," says Naylor. "Let's just hope that Casey is still there for them to have this argument."

"I wish Casey and I could have worked it out," says Naylor, who divorced him because of his temper -- "I shouldn't say this, but he was a screamer" -- and still loves him and wants their children to see him before he dies. "Who knew that he would find this horrible woman? But he just didn't have the guts to leave her."

  • This article originally appeared in THR.com.