David Cassidy, whose picture was on the wall in millions of teenage girls' bedrooms in the early 1970s, avoided a jail sentence for his third DUI charge since 2011 when a Los Angeles judge let him off with five years probation and three months in an alcohol rehab facility.
As "Keith Patridge" on the lighthearted musical sitcom The Partridge Family, David Cassidy was a hugely popular teen idol for the show's four-season run on CBS from 1970 to 1974 and during his solo recording career that followed.
Cops stopped Cassidy near Los Angeles International Airport in January when they saw him make an illegal turn. When they gave him a breathalyzer test, his blood-alcohol level came out at 0.19, more than twice the legal limit. But his manager said that he fell off the wagon that day because he stressed out from giving a deposition on a lawsuit over The Partridge Family.
David Cassidy sued Sony Pictures Television, which currently owns The Partridge Family, in 2011, alleging that the corporation owes him money from Partridge Family merchandise, home videos and other marketing items tied in to the show, on which he was the star attraction.
"After attending his and his manager's depositions, it appears as if the pressure led to a brief relapse," said his manager, Jo-Ann Geffen.
The 63-year-old onetime Celebrity Apprentice contestant felt "exploited" even while he was still a cast member on The Partridge Family. In 1972 David Cassidy told New Musical Express magazine, "I'm exploited by people who put me on the back of cereal boxes. I asked my housekeeper to go and buy a certain kind of cereal and when she came home, there was a huge picture of me on the back. I can't even eat breakfast without seeing my face."
Cassidy pleaded no contest to the DUI charge and earlier checked into an alcohol rehab center voluntarily. The January arrest was his second DUI in six months. And earlier drunk driving charge in New York got knocked down from a felony to a misdemeanor. He could have received up to a year behind bars on the Los Angeles DUI charge.
Prior to the day of the depositions and his subsequent arrest, David Cassidy "was doing very well in sobriety," his manager said.
[Images Via Bing and LAPD]