Kerri Kasem is mourning the loss of her dad, the late great radio DJ Casey Kasem, and she opened up about the final moments she spent with her father before he passed away.
Here’s some of what she told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Monday’s Access Hollywood Live about her famous father:
On the first time seeing her father in May after not seeing him for months: “When I saw him on May 6, after not seeing him for five months because [his widow Jean] had moved him, I think, seven different times. So I did get a visit with him and that’s when she pulled him out of the home she put him in at 2:30 in the morning. When I did see him that day he was absolutely cognizant, completely aware of who my sister and I were… he talked a little bit, so he was there, completely there, he didn’t have any infection in him, he didn’t have a bed sore and then she ripped him out of there. Two weeks later I saw him and it was not good. He was going downhill fast.”
On her final time she spent with her father: “He was in a lot of pain and he was very sick… He did say, ‘I love you,’ and that was the last time I heard him talk.”
On being with Casey when he died: “I was there when he took his last breath… I was just so grateful that I could be there with him. I was just so happy that he didn’t die alone in a nursing home and not thinking that anybody loved him.”
On how she hopes to help others seeking visitation rights of sick family members through The Kasem Cares Foundation: “The Kasem Cares foundation I started because after I went public with this I got hundreds of letters from people around the country… I kept thinking why can’t a judge just rule on visitation? Why do you have to go with a conservatorship and durable power of health? And they said there’s no law that allows a judge to rule on visitation, so I went to Sacramento. I said let’s get a law started [that would] allow a judge to rule on visitation… go to the ailing parent and say, ‘Would you like to see your kids?’ If that person says yes, boom, if the person says no, then that’s it.”
On if Casey used his iconic radio voice at home when she was a kid: “People ask that all the time… he had this kind of cadence when he was on the radio, so he didn’t really talk that way, his tone was the same if that makes sense. His tone was the same.”
-- Jesse Spero