A judge on Monday denied a request by one of Casey Kasem’s daughters for about $160,000 in attorneys’ fees in connection with her initial bid to establish a conservatorship over the late radio icon.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lesley Green said that even if Julie Kasem believes her stepmother did not honor the terms of their conservatorship settlement agreement, she could instead pursue other options such as a breach-of-settlement action.
Kasem was the subject of a vitriolic legal battle between his wife Jean and his children from his first marriage until he died June 15 at age 82. He suffered from dementia and Lewy body disease, which has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
Julie Kasem’s attorney, Andrew Katzenstein, said Jean Kasem promised his client that she could visit with her father, but later reneged on the agreement.
Green delayed until Dec. 15 a ruling on other requests for fees so that Jean Kasem’s attorneys can file any objections. Kasem’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham, is asking for about $103,000.
Although Julie and Jean Kasem settled their conservatorship fight late last year, Julie Kasem’s sister, Kerri, later filed a petition of her own. A judge named her as her father’s temporary conservator in May.
Kerri Kasem is asking to be reimbursed for travel expenses to Washington state, where her father died.
The remainder of the fees sought total more than $250,000, said Jean Kasem’s attorney, Adrian Sawyer. A judge has to approve the costs because they would be paid by Casey Kasem’s estate.
According to court papers filed by Kerri Kasem’s attorneys, doctors learned in June that her father was suffering from serious bed sores and a urinary tract infection, conditions which they allege along with other health issues “revealed the full extent of Jean’s destruction to Casey’s health.”
Attorney Troy Martin, on behalf of Kerri Kasem, said that most of the issues are already decided in the case, that his client acted according to her father’s wishes and that her stepmother wrongly removed him from a Santa Monica convalescent hospital where he was getting good care and moved him to Washington state without telling his daughters.
However, Sawyer said after Monday’s hearing that Green previously found that Kasem was getting proper care from his wife in Los Angeles before Kerri Kasem was named temporary conservator. He also said that the former “America’s Top 40” host was doing well in Washington until he was taken from his wife and hospitalized under a court order.
Liberty Kasem, Kasem’s only child with Jean Kasem, echoed Sawyer’s claims.
“My dad suffered,” the 24-year-old said while fighting back tears. “Nobody should be treated like that. He’s not an animal.”
Liberty Kasem said the truth is not being told by the other side and that the fight is not over.
“I’m going to have justice for my dad,” she said.
Kerri, Julie and Mike Kasem were born during their father’s marriage to Linda Myers from 1972-79. Jean Kasem was married to the former radio personality for more than three decades.