David Cassidy, former child star of TV’s Partridge Family, has announced that he is battling dementia. The 66-year-old broke the news to his fans just days after an embarrassing, headline-grabbing performance in Agoura Hills, California. During the show, David Cassidy stumbled, appeared to forget lyrics to a handful of his own songs and even almost fell off the stage.
— People Magazine (@people) February 20, 2017
Following the disastrous performance, many of those in the audience and around the globe (who saw the troubling show after a clip of David Cassidy’s performance went viral), speculated that Cassidy may have been under the influence at the time. The 70’s star and former teen dream has a history of highly publicized substance abuse issues, including DUI arrests.
Check out the video that caused David Cassidy fans to wonder if their guy had fallen off the wagon.
In response to the public’s allegations (and some concerns) over the behavior of the aging David Cassidy, the actor and singer turned to People to tell the world the truth of his situation. According to Cassidy, he has been diagnosed with dementia by a medical professional. It is unclear how long David has been dealing with the devastating disease.
During his interview, David Cassidy claimed that dementia runs in his family, and admitted that he’s always worried that he would end up struck down by the degenerative, memory-loss inducing disease. According to Cassidy, he watched his mother slowly fade away before she passed away from dementia-related causes at the age of 89.
@people very sad. His concert in SoCal last night was baffling. This answers a lot of questions.
— Hilary Appel (@DramaMamaHil) February 20, 2017
@etnow so sad????
— Ashley???? (@ashleymac31) February 21, 2017
@ABC God bless David Cassidy he was a great young singer in our day.
— Valerie Alderman (@valderman7) February 21, 2017
— Kristen Cusato (@kristencusato) February 21, 2017
Cassidy said that his mother’s memory and overall health got so bad that, toward the end, only a lone tear rolling down her face let him know that she recognized him as her son David.
“In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room. … I feared I would end up that way.”
David Cassidy said in his revealing interview that in addition to watching dementia destroy his mother’s mind, he also watched his grandfather struggle with the untreatable illness. Cassidy claims that coming to terms with his own dementia diagnosis has been a struggle and has taken some time.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming.”
As ET reports, it appears that David Cassidy’s humiliating Agoura Hills performance over the weekend may have been the moment when he realized he couldn’t continue to deny his diagnosis any longer. During the show, Cassidy couldn’t recall words to songs he’s been singing for five decades.
The on-stage humiliation, coupled with the public’s erroneous reasoning that Cassidy was likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the show seemingly prompted David to come clean about his dementia.
— MarieFranceRemillard (@MFRemillard) February 20, 2017
In addition to admitting that he’s been secretly struggling with dementia, David Cassidy made a second announcement, this one involving the future of his musical career.
During his California show over the weekend, Cassidy said a few slurred words about retirement, claiming that his Sunday show would be his last. However, as Fox News reports, at the time he made his comments, Cassidy was scheduled to continue touring until summer 2017.
Following the announcement that he is battling dementia, Cassidy also announced that he is going to be ending his musical touring career. Rather than focusing on his profession, David Cassidy says that he wants to spend his remaining lucid time worrying about his “health and happiness.”
“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
Prior to Monday’s dementia announcement, Cassidy had repeatedly found himself in trouble with the law as a result of his alleged alcohol and substance abuse issues. He was charged with DUIs in 2010, 2013 and 2014; just a month after his 2014 DUI, his wife filed for a divorce. Cassidy also spent some time in rehab in 2014.
Despite his rehab stint, David Cassidy endured both a hit-and-run charge and personal bankruptcy in 2015.
At this time, it’s unknown what role dementia could have played in the legal trouble David Cassidy has dealt with over the last several years.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]