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Casey Kasem's widow files wrongful-death lawsuit against his three eldest children

Jean and Casey Kasem in 2003. (Doug Benc / Getty Images)
Jean and Casey Kasem in 2003. (Doug Benc / Getty Images)

Jean Kasem, the widow of Casey Kasem, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the "American Top 40" host's three eldest children and others.

Kerri Kasem, Mike Kasem, Julie Kasem Aboulhosn, Jamil Anis Aboulhosn, attorney Troy L. Martin and Catholic Health Initiatives are named in the suit, filed June 14 in U.S. District Court in Washington state. 

"After an exhaustive forensic investigation following Casey’s death and autopsy, there was no other choice but to bring this lawsuit," Jean Kasem said in a statement Thursday.

In addition to wrongful death, the lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence and fraud. It describes a "Homicidal Guardianship scam," referring to actions taken by the children on behalf of their father as he was suffering from Lewy body dementia and other ailments. 

"Everything we did was court-ordered," Kerri Kasem told The Times on Thursday. She said her father's widow filed the pro se lawsuit "only to get the media going again." 

"For her to say we unplugged him — we tried everything we could to save him," Kerri Kasem said. "These lies are so awful. It's so awful to hear this." 

She said Jean Kasem, who in the lawsuit alleges she and her daughter, Liberty, "never saw Casey Kasem alive again" after the night of June 6, could have been there when the radio personality died. 

"We're the ones who kept calling them to say, 'Come, be here with Dad,'" Kerri Kasem said. "She could have been there. It was court-ordered that she could be there." 

Jean Kasem is seeking damages in an unspecified amount to compensate for losses including income; medical, funeral and burial expenses; destruction of the spousal relationship; and pain and suffering experienced by Casey Kasem, plus interest, court costs and attorney's fees. 

"I have taken this action for my daughter Liberty and for my husband of 35 years, as I’m certain Casey would have done the same for me," Jean Kasem said in her statement. 

The adult children sought court relief starting in 2013, first to be allowed more access to their father and then to take the lead in his healthcare. 

In May 2014, after a dramatic series of events that saw Casey Kasem moved from a nursing home in Santa Monica to the home of friends in Washington state and at times left it unclear where he was, a judge granted Kerri Kasem expanded authority over her father's care as outlined in the radio host's 2007 health directive, rather than in a 2011 directive that gave authority to Jean Kasem.

Casey Kasem died at a hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash., on June 15, 2014, at age 82.

More than six months after his death, he was buried by Jean Kasem at a cemetery in Oslo, Norway, despite the insistence from family members and friends that he had wanted Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale to be his final resting place. 

In May 2015, the Los Angeles County district attorney decided there was insufficient evidence to charge Jean Kasem with elder abuse or neglect related to her husband's death.

The three eldest adult Kasem children — whose mother is Linda Myers, the radio host's first wife — and Casey's brother, Mouner Kasem, sued Jean Kasem in November 2015, alleging she neglected his medical needs and hastened his 2014 death.

That case is still working its way through the courts. 

Regarding Jean Kasem's lawsuit, a spokesperson for Catholic Health Initiatives told the Los Angeles Times that it does not comment on ongoing legal matters.

Update, 5:10 p.m.: This article was updated to include comments from Kerri Kasem. 

This article was originally published at 4:04 p.m.

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