Long before beloved radio host and voice actor Casey Kasem died, his surviving family members were already locked in an ugly fight over his treatment.
Now, four years after Kasem’s death, his wife and children are actually blaming each other for his death.
And their allegations are so serious, police have even opened an investigation into the American Top 40 host’s death.
The strange and upsetting story begins with Kasem’s treatment before his death in 2014, at age 82.
Kasem’s widow, Jean, blames his children from a previous marriage - Julie, Kerri, and Mike - for speeding up his death. Likewise, Kasem’s children say Jean is responsible for their father’s death.
And the feuding groups have taken their explosive claims to the public, with Kasem’s children filing a wrongful death suit against Jean, while she countersues them for the same thing.
Each side claims that decisions the other made about Kasem’s care as he was suffering from Lewy body dementia contributed to his death.
At one point, shortly before Kasem’s death, his children say they lost touch with the radio host because Jean had moved him from a rest home in California to Washington state, without alerting them.
Kasem was transferred to a hospital after his children obtained a court order for his protection. He ultimately died at that hospital, after being taken off of life support.
The children also claim that Jean abused their father before his death, and say she limited their access to Kasem in his final days, causing them emotional distress.
"I texted Jean in 2012 and I shared my concern that I thought my dad was being isolated," Julie revealed in a recent interview.
"I texted … 'Jean, can you please let a landline in my dad’s house in Malibu?' And it was one excuse after another as to why a landline couldn’t be placed in there."
"I had a feeling that when he got sick to the point that he would not able to communicate his wishes that we would never see him again."
The long-simmering feud reached a boiling point when the family members appeared (separately) on a recent CBS special about Kasem’s death.
"I did everything I could to save his life," his daughter Kerri insisted. "I cannot wait for the wrongful death trial to begin because [of] the overwhelming amount of evidence that we can present."
Some of that evidence was shared in the 48 Hours special, including medical records which show Kasem had an ulcer, was in septic shock, and was suffering from respiratory failure when he arrived at the hospital.
For the record, Kasem’s physician, Dr. Donal Sharman, insists the radio host was "exceptionally well cared for" during his time in Washington. But police in Gig Harbor, Washington have opened a wrongful death investigation into Kasem’s treatment.
"They killed my husband," Jean said when it was her turn to offer a side of the story. "They killed their father."
The truth about Kasem’s death is not all that will be settled if the wrongful death suits go to trial next spring. Kasem’s inheritance, which Jean and the children have also fought over, could be set aside in a verdict over the accusations.
While the children received a $2 million life insurance payout in 2015, Kasem’s estate is speculated to be worth more than $80 million, and his kids insist their inheritance was stolen by Jean.