SINGAPORE - Local DJ Mike Kasem is worried sick.
His father, US radio legend Casey Kasem, has been missing since May 6.
The older Mr Kasem suffers from Parkinson’s disease and was looked after in a Santa Monica hospital in the US.
Casey, 82, is said to be worth US$80 million (S$100 million).
According to media reports, the children of Casey’s first wife and his present wife, Jean, have been locked in a battle over access to the former star of American Top 40.
Mike’s siblings in the US saw their father in the hospital on May 6, but then he went missing.
Jean was supposed to attend a court session on Monday, but failed to do so.
The Los Angeles Superior Court then ordered a court investigator to find him.
Mike told The New Paper he last saw his father in December, when he went home to the US for the holiday season.
Mike, 40, said his father’s ailing health and safety has him worried.
“The last time I saw him, he was frail. I don’t know how he is being moved around, if he has the right care he needs.
“I wonder if he is taking car or plane rides. He is weak and in no shape to move around,” he said, sounding worried and upset as he spoke over the phone yesterday.
He said when he visited his father last year, his father could recognise him and speak short phrases.
Mike is one of three children his father had with his first wife, Linda Myers.
“I was allowed to see him for only 20 minutes each for five days, and each time with a security guard present, who was writing down every word we said,” he said, referring to his stepmother’s rules.
Casey has one daughter with her.
DESPERATE FOR TIME
Mike claimed he and his two sisters were so desperate for time with their sickly father that they had signed a “deal” with Jean previously.
The deal allowed them varying amounts of time with their father.
Mike said he was allocated “a few hours a year”, as he is living in Singapore.
It was also because of this agreement that they were previously reluctant to speak to the media about the family situation.
But his stepmother did not honour her end of the bargain, he claimed.
“She used to put him in a car and send him to my sister’s place to visit, but slowly...she began not to answer calls, restrict visiting, and so on,” he said.
The siblings gave their dad a “simple to use” cellphone, but it was frequently turned off or not working, making direct contact with their father impossible.
When asked about the possible reasons she is restricting their contact with their father, he draws a blank.
“It’s something everyone asks, but the question we can’t answer.
“We don’t have the slightest clue...the only reason we can come up with is that we have always had a strained relationship,” he said.
Jean previously said in a statement that she was restricting the siblings’ access to their father “for reasons they know all too well”.
She added that “their presence at this stage would be toxic and extremely distressing for Casey, Jean and their daughter, Liberty, who have had enough of their cruelty”.
Mike stressed that he was not interested in the money that his dad could leave him.
“As far as we know, we’re not in the will. He never mentioned it, we never asked,” he said.
The legendary DJ was also the voice behind Shaggy in the cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo.
“We don’t care about the money,” said Mike emphatically.
“We don’t want a battle with her, we don’t want her money, we just want to see our dad,” he added.
For now, the only thing Mike can do is wait.
“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m going to call my sister for updates. I really hope that Jean does the right thing,” he said.
When they find their father, the Kasem siblings will decide whether or not to put him back into the same hospital where he was reportedly taken from.
“I heard from my sisters that the doctors and nurses there are fantastic. That’s one option, or we could bring him back to my sister’s home,” he said.
But one thing is for sure. He’s heading back home to see his father once they find him, he added.
I wonder if he is taking car or plane rides. He is weak and in no shape to move around.
— Mike Kasem (left) on his dad, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease
This article was published on May 14 in The New Paper.
Get The New Paper for more stories.