BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Adult children of legendary radio host Casey Kasem, actor Mickey Rooney, and singer Glen Campbell gave emotional accounts Wednesday in Annapolis of how they were prevented from visiting their dying parents.
As famous as Kasem was during his life in the music industry, it was his declining years that made headlines with the public battle between daughter Kerri Kasem and her stepmother Jeanne Kasem over visitation rights.
“When I protested outside of my father’s house with all of my dad’s family members, friends, coworkers, me, my brother, my sister, my dad’s brother, because no one was being let in to see him. It got picked up publicly and I received hundreds of letters from people all around the country and Maryland as well,” Kerri said.
Kerri was joined by Rooney’s daughter Kelly Rooney and Campbell’s son Travis Campbell, in support of a house bill that provides legal recourse for adult children, whose parents like theirs, are under legal guardianship of someone denying them access.
“He was in guardianship for 18 months, passed away, and when he passed away I received a call from my brother crying, ‘is it true what I just heard on television that daddy is dead?’ I said ‘Michael what?’ He said, ‘I just heard that he was.’ This guardian didn’t even have the compassion to call and let us know that our father had passed,” Kelly said.
“Yes our fathers have notoriety but I provide my efforts, which nothing compared to the efforts that Kerri puts out and Kelly. But we do this for the other people, for the people who don’t have means,” Travis said.
An opponent to the bill who represents adults in guardianship cases told WJZ new legislation is not needed.
“We just don’t have a problem here. We have really good laws. The legislature has done a great job protecting people like the one they’re allegedly trying to protect. It’s not necessary,” opponent Ria Rochvard said.
In addition to the celebrity children, Marylanders testified that in their own experience, the bill would help.
Last year, the bill passed the House but died in the Senate. The bill has more than 100 cosponsors in the House of Delegates.