In a never-before-heard voice recording of late Partridge Family star David Cassidy, the singer reveals that he lied about having dementia, and admits that his health problems were actually caused by his alcohol addiction.
New documentary David Cassidy: The Last Session, to be broadcast on A&E next week, features the star’s shocking confession just two months prior to his death from organ failure last November. He was 67.
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Indeed, the last few years of Cassidy’s life were troubled. The former teen idol was arrested three times for DUI in the five years before his death. After a stint in rehab in 2014, he told his family and friends that he had stopped drinking. In the new audio, he reveals that was a lie.
Cassidy called the docuseries producers to explain his situation after being rushed to the hospital when he became acutely ill in a recording studio.
“I have a liver disease,” Cassidy said to A&E producer Saralena Weinfield. “There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was completely alcohol poisoning. My life has changed dramatically. The first few days I was unconscious and near death. The last week or so my memory has come back.”
“The fact is that I lied about my drinking,” he continued, his voice shaky. “I did this to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.”
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Prior to his death, Cassidy even appeared on Dr. Phil to recount his experience with dementia and to assuage fans’ worry.
Producers were surprised at Cassidy’s confession; the majority of people in his life believed that he was sober, but the reality was he drank up until the last few months of his life.
Partridge Family co-star Danny Bonaduce, who’s battled his own addictions, said he’s not surprised by Cassidy’s behaviour.
“Part of alcoholism is lying,” he said. “When you’re an addict, you know you can’t be honest with people. You say what you want them to hear. I can’t be mad at David for that, but it’s still a tragedy.”
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A&E producers debated what to do with the footage of the call, and ultimately decided to include it not for sensationalism, but rather to highlight the perils of addiction.
“I think it will strike a chord with people,” said producer John Marks. “He wanted to share this very private part of his life, and to be honest once and for all. And I think he succeeded in doing that.”
(You can watch/listen to the audio in the video, top.)