NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 7:21 PM
Kerri Kasem holds a press conference to demand Jean Kasem be prosecuted for elder abuse of her father Casey Kasem.
Casey Kasem’s daughter says her heart breaks for the family of Robin Williams.
Like the “Good Will Hunting” actor who took his own life in August 2014, her radio icon dad battled Lewy body dementia before his own death last year.
In an exclusive interview Tuesday, Kerri Kasem discussed the devastating medical condition, how her dad suffered in his final weeks and how she would “gladly” forfeit her portion of a $ 2 million life insurance policy to see her estranged stepmom behind bars for elder abuse.
“Lewy body is a horrible disease that is misdiagnosed constantly. You really don’t know what’s going on,” Kerri told the Daily News.
“We desperately need more research on how to diagnose and treat it effectively — without someone having to die first so we can look at their brain tissue,” she said.
Kerri spoke to The News after Williams’ widow Susan Williams told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she believed Lewy body dementia killed the beloved performer.
Breaking her 15-month silence in an emotional interview, Susan said the comedian had an aggressive case that hit him hard with debilitating symptoms before he hanged himself in their northern California home.
She likened the disease to “a sea monster with 50 tentacles of symptoms that show when they want.”
A left arm tremor, depression, insomnia, paranoia, stomach pain and vision problems were some of the symptoms Williams battled, according to his autopsy and his wife.
Kerri recalled seeing her own dad struggle with symptoms before his “American Top 40” show ended its second run in 2009.
“It was a lot of confusion. I was working with him doing shows, and he would have to retake things over and over or get lost in a script,” Kerri said. “It started taking his voice too, with the tremors. He did a lot of vocal exercise, but it hit him really bad.”
Jean Kasem(c.), the wife of radio personality Casey Kasem, appears in Kitsap County Superior Court, with her attorneys.
She said her dad also suffered tremors in his legs and arms and experienced hallucinations.
“He’d say, ‘I saw this person today and they need some money.’ But he hadn’t talked to them. He’d been with us all day,” she said.
Toward the end, Kasem had trouble answering two-part questions, but he always recognized his kids, she said.
Kasem was 82 when he died in a Washington state hospital on June 15, 2014.
He’d been admitted in critical condition with an infected bedsore and a urinary tract infection after his second wife Jean Kasem took him on a trip against doctor recommendations, court records previously revealed.
Kerri publicly accused Jean of elder abuse and hastening her dad’s death — and she won court orders including one meant to prevent his cremation before autopsy.
Best known for her roles in “Ghostbusters” and the sitcom “Cheers,” Jean moved her husband’s body to Canada before the order was served.
He was later buried in Oslo against the wishes of his three eldest kids who said he had no connection to Norway.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles investigated Jean for elder abuse but declined to prosecute citing insufficient evidence.
Kerry said Tuesday she’s considering other legal options and still hopes prosecutors in Washington or Las Vegas – where Jean traveled with her ailing husband shortly before his death – will consider charges.
She said it was little consolation when a judge ruled against Jean on Monday and said Kerri and her siblings were the rightful beneficiaries of a $ 2 million life insurance policy left by their dad.
“We didn’t win anything,” Kerri told The News. “We don’t care about the money. We just want justice. I would give up all that money if she were in jail.”
Kerri said she believed Jean, 61, had moved to Guam, where she grew up.
“We’re not giving up,” Kerri said Tuesday. “My father lived the last weeks of his life in horrific pain. Take the $ 2 million. I’d be richer if she were in jail.”
Kerri, 43, has become an activist in the areas of senior healthcare and elder abuse and is headlining the 2016 Kasem Cares Conference on Aging in southern California next April.