Casey Kasem Fortune Fight: Is A Family Member Responsible For The Radio Icon's Death?

Why are Casey Kasem’s wife and daughter accusing each other of killing the iconic American Top 40 Countdown host?  Could either of them really have been responsible for his death?

And what did Casey Kasem’s doctors have to say about the controversy? Casey_Kasem

This is the second installment in our Fortune Fights series, based on the celebrity documentary television show, Fortune Fights, for which we serve as hosts, legal commentators and executive producers.  New episodes air on the REELZ network Thursday nights at 9 pm et/pt.  The second episode, Casey Kasem” Fortune Fight, airs February 7th.

Casey Kasem passed away in 2014 at age 82, with a host of medical problems including advanced Lewy Body dementia.  His death came amidst a tragic story of a family feud that grew worse as Casey Kasem aged and now continues years after he died.

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Johnny Depp Is Still Feuding With Amber Heard. Who Is Telling The Truth?

While Johnny Depp is no stranger to the courtroom – having been involved in several different lawsuits in recent years – none have been as impactful or bitter as his ongoing feud with ex-wife Amber Heard.  Did Johnny Depp abuse Amber Heard, both physically and psychologically?  Or were the allegations faked by Heard, as Depp and his legal team still contend?

And can Depp recover from the blows to his career and his fortune from this and other lawsuits? Images

This is the first installment in our Fortune Fights series, based on the celebrity documentary television show, Fortune Fights, for which we serve as hosts, legal commentators and executive producers.  New episodes air on the REELZ network Thursday nights at 9 pm eastern, starting January 31st, with the premiere episode Johnny Depp: Fortune Fight.

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Avicii Died Without A Will But Illustrated An Important Lesson

Unless you’re under the age of 35 or a fan of electronic dance music, you may have never heard of the Swedish musician, super DJ, and music producer, Avicii, although you likely heard his most popular song, “Wake Me Up,” playing at one point or another. 170px-Avicii

Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, reached almost absurd levels of fame, success, wealth and adoration.  Sadly, his success came a heavy cost of anxiety, depression, heavy alcoholism, and ultimately suicide.  He was only 28 when he died from self-inflicted wounds from broken glass on April 20, 2018.

The Grammy-nominated artist enjoyed great financial success, regularly earning tens of millions of dollars per year and landing on many of Forbes highest earning lists, especially during his peak from 2014 through 2016.  Celebrity Net Worth reported his net worth when he died to be around $50 million.  His Hollywood Hills mansion sold for $17.5 million earlier this year.  He signed lucrative endorsement deals with Volvo and Ralph Lauren.

Yet Avicii was never motivated by money.  He said during an interview in 2013, “I discovered when I started making money that I didn’t really need it.”  Instead, he turned towards charitable goals, saying,  “When you have such an excess of money you don’t need, the most sensible, most human and completely obvious thing is to give to people in need.”

These weren’t just words to the famous DJ.  In 2012, he embarked on a tour called “House for Hunger” and donated all of his income from the tour to the charity, Feeding America, to combat hunger.  He added another $1 million afterwards, along with an additional one million euros to a Swedish “hunger aid” charity a year later.  And these were just some of the publicly-reported gifts.

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Aretha Franklin Had No Will or Trust, But The Family Rallied Together To Protect Her Legacy

After years of battling pancreatic cancer, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, died surrounded by family and friends on August 16, 2018.  Despite the shocking reality that she died without a will or a trust, her family has banded together to quickly protect her estate.  But there are unavoidable problems on the horizon because Aretha did not do the proper estate planning. 1024px-Aretha_Franklin_on_January_20 _2009

As the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday, Aretha Franklin died without a will or a trust.  Her longtime entertainment attorney in Los Angeles, Don Wilson, told the Free Press that he “was after her for a number of years to do a trust.”  Our review of the recent probate court filing confirms that Aretha died “intestate”, or without a will.

On August 21, 2018, one of Aretha’s four sons, Kecalf Franklin, along with a Detroit-area attorney who worked with Aretha for more than 40 years, filed the paperwork with the Oakland County Probate Court.  While Aretha was a lifelong resident of Detroit, her death certificate lists Bloomfield Hills, a northern suburb, as her domicile.  So her probate will be handled through Oakland County, not Wayne County, where Detroit is located.

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Stan Lee Needs Savings, Not By A Superhero, But By A Conservator

The iconic figure whose name is almost synonymous with Marvel Entertainment — perhaps the biggest name today in cinema — needs help. Stan Lee is the subject of three separate lawsuits that allege he is the victim of fraud and elder abuse. And these court filings may simply be the beginning of a much larger battle over his estate and the right to profit from Stan Lee’s name, image, likeness and more. Stan_Lee_by_Gage_Skidmore_3

Throughout the lawsuits and surrounding controversy, there is one point that is certain. Stan Lee, now age 95, is susceptible to undue influence. His memory is poor – so bad that a detective’s report noted how he would often forget the name of his closest adviser.  He has macular degeneration, leaving him with vision so faulty that he cannot read or drive. On top of that, Lee’s vision is impaired.  Clearly, he cannot manage his affairs without help from others. In fact, he recently used social media to ask for help because his Facebook and Instagram accounts had been hacked.

Reality presents a much different image of Stan Lee than the comedic appearances he continues to make in Marvel blockbusters, including Infinity War, Black Panther and the latest movie, Ant Man & The Wasp.

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Richard Pryor & Marlon Brando Rumor Rekindles Bitter Feud Over Pryor's Estate

Would comedian Richard Pryor be laughing or rolling over in his grave?  When Quincy Jones sat down for a recent interview with Vulture, he casually inferred that Marlon Brando slept with both Marvin Gaye and Richard Pryor.    Richard Pryor

The comment quickly snowballed when Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee-Pryor, took to social media to confirm the Richard Pryor tryst with Marlon Brando:

She commented that Pryor would have no shame about Quincy's comments and was open in his early comedy routines about his homosexual encounters.  Jennifer felt that Pryor would have enjoyed Quincy Jones' revelation.

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Inside The Battle Raging Over The Estate of Charles Manson

Almost two months after his death, Charles Manson's body remains in limbo as an unusual legal battle heats up over control of — and the potential to profit from — his estate.    Charles Manson

This of course raises questions. Why would anyone bother to fight over the estate of a man who spent almost five decades in prison?  Even if he was one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, what could there be worth fighting over? 

And if there is money to be had, how could someone claim profits generated by a man who became famous for committing profound acts of evil, and still sleep comfortably at night?

Those questions don't seem to be slowing down three combatants vying for control of the Charles Manson estate and legacy.  An avid collector of Manson memorabilia, named Michael Channels, became pen pals with Manson after sending him about 50 letters, leading to a meeting in prison in 2002.  Manson then wrote and signed a purported will, naming Channels as his executor, authorizing his body to be released to Channels, and bequeathing all of this property to Channels.

This 2002 will specifically directed that Channels was to receive all of Manson's music and royalty rights to the songs Manson wrote, as well as his image and publishing rights.  That same will specifically disinherited anyone claiming to be a child of Charles Manson and all other relatives.

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