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Casey Kasem's family, friends take battle over host to 'Today' show

Casey Kasem holds his Radio Icon award during

Casey Kasem holds his Radio Icon award during the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas. (Oct. 27, 2003) Photo Credit: AP

Family and friends of Casey Kasem, whose wife has blocked contact with the ailing radio icon for at least 2 1/2 months, took their cause to NBC's "Today" Thursday morning.

"I don't want any of his money. I don't want his estate. I don't want anything," Julie Kasem, one of Kasem's three children with first wife, Linda Myers, said in a video segment shot in a room with her radio-host siblings Mike and Kerri and others. "I simply want to see my father on a regular basis, give him a hug, hold his hand, give him a massage, put a smile on his face. It's that simple."

Casey Kasem, 81, has been suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease. "Unfortunately the disease might be killing his body," Julie Kasem said, "but it doesn't need to kill his spirit and his soul."

On Tuesday, family and friends gathered with placards in front of the Los Angeles home of Casey Kasem and his second wife, Jean, saying she has not responded to calls and emails and has turned family and friends away at the door.

"Jean has just folded him up and kept him under wraps," Chuck Olsen, a friend of 63 years, told "Today." "Nobody can get to him."

Jean Kasem, who married the longtime "American Top 40" host in 1980, has not responded to requests for comment from NBC or others. Their daughter together, singer-songwriter Liberty Kasem, has not commented on Twitter.


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