Singer/songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson
In the first official statement concerning the rumored memory problems of singer/songwriter, musician and actor Kris Kristofferson, longtime publicist Tamara Saviano says he is suffering from “short term memory problems due to undiagnosed and untreated Lyme Disease. He’s been getting treatment and is much, much better.” Her comments came in an explanation addressed to the host of The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Halli Casser-Jayne.
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Saviano was responding to a request to clarify Kristofferson’s condition, following her written denial that the Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient has Alzheimer’s Disease, as originally asserted by and later retracted by four-time Emmy Award winning producer Jim Brown to Halli Casser-Jayne on her show.
The Highwaymen special produced and directed by Emmy-winner Jim Brown
In a subsequent communication with Casser-Jayne, Brown backed off his statement. “I have no direct knowledge of Kris Kristofferson’s medical condition,” he wrote to Ms. Casser-Jayne. “I was mistaken to mention that he has Alzheimer’s. I don’t know more than that he has memory problems which he has spoken about.”
Brown is the producer of ‘American Masters, The Highwaymen – Friends Till the End,’ documentary, featuring Kristofferson that recently aired on PBS stations and is now available online. Brown interviewed Kris Kristofferson and his wife Lisa for his documentary.
Rumors concerning Kris Kristofferson’s health have percolated through the music industry for years. Some have made the uneducated guess that the former boxer could be suffering from pugilistica, a neurodegenerative disease with features of dementia that can only be diagnosed after death. Kristofferson has alluded to his “memory loss.”
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In a 2011 interview with ABC’s World News Now he said: “I’m going to be right in the middle of a sentence, man – and it just goes, pew.” In another in 2013, with FOX411 he said, “I wish my memory weren’t so bad,” and he lamented, “They tell me it’s from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got. A couple of years ago my memory just started going. But I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that…”
The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Research Center at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center states that “The cognitive problems [most commonly associated with Lyme’s Disease] include problems with short-term memory, problems with verbal fluency such as in name or word retrieval, and problems with slower speed of thinking.” Patients typically report that they have “Brain Fog.” Untreated Lyme Disease can become a chronic problem leading to neurological disorders. Most cases of Lyme Disease that are caught early are curable.
According to Saviano, Kris Kristofferson, who turns 80 on June 22nd just stepped in for the recently deceased Merle Haggard with Merle’s band the Strangers and Merle’s sons. He is going on tour with Willie Nelson in June, and then doing solo dates around the US for the rest of the summer. He will travel to Norway in the fall. In addition to the Highwaymen and Sony reissues, Kris Kristofferson also has a new studio album coming out for his 80th birthday.
Journalist Halli Casser-Jayne, host of the show of the same name is not new to journalism. War correspondent, documentary producer, and radio host, Casser-Jayne worked with Door’s drummer John Densmore on his bestselling autobiography, RIDERS ON THE STORM.
The Halli Casser-Jayne Show is a premiere show on multiple podcast networks. One of the early podcasters, Casser-Jayne is considered one of the best. Frequent guest and political editor or Newsweek magazine, Matthew Cooper says: “The Halli Casser-Jayne show is pure joy — smart, interesting talk with a great host. I love being a guest. I love listening to it even more.” Veteran newsman, Roger Simon calls Halli “one of the best in the biz.”
“I am a longtime fan of Kris Kristofferson’s and I am so glad we cleared all of this up,” Casser-Jayne said. “I love Kris, I want him to play on forever, but most of all, I want him to be well.”
To listen to Halli’s conversation with Jim Brown and author of WAYLON: TALES OF MY OUTLAW DAD, Terry Jennings, oldest son of country singer Waylon Jennings visit Halli Casser-Jayne. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show posts original episodes Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m., eastern time.