David Cassidy made millions of dollars during his lifetime — for a period in the early 1970s, the Partridge Family star was the wealthiest entertainers in the music industry, boasting a fan club larger than Elvis and the Beatles combined. With millions of records sold, mega memorabilia sales, and sold-out ’70s concert tours, David Cassidy was living large in the 1970s. But Cassidy’s will reveals that he did not die a particularly wealthy man.
According to documents obtained by the Blast, David Cassidy’s will revealed that he left just $150,000 in assets to son Beau Devin Cassidy. David, who was a father of two, cut his daughter, actress Katie Cassidy, completely from his will. David Cassidy’s will, which was filed in 2004, also stated that the former teen idol left all of his music memorabilia to half-brothers Shawn, Ryan, and Patrick Cassidy.
With only $150,000 in assets, David Cassidy’s fortune is long gone. Before his death from organ failure at age 67, David Cassidy had been vocal about his financial woes. In a 2008 interview with the Telegraph, David pointed to shady business managers who mismanaged his fortune during his heyday as a pop superstar.
“I’ve been to the brink of financial ruin twice and come back,” Cassidy said at the time.
“In the 1970s I made millions of dollars, but both times my business managers squandered and stole from me, ending up in jail for defrauding me. I was one of the wealthiest young male entertainers in the world then, but 10 years later I had nothing to show for it. By the 1980s I was broke and had to rebuild my life.”
David Cassidy revealed that he started to pay more attention to his bank account and went on to hire his cousin to plan his estate. David credited his cousin for turning his finances around, and he revealed that his best investments were Thoroughbred racehorses, which he bred and sold, and a luxury home on the water in Fort Lauderdale.
While his lucrative post-Partridge Family work included Broadway shows and nightclub gigs, divorce and legal troubles later ravaged David Cassidy’s finances once again. According to the Daily Mail, Cassidy declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015 after a particularly bad period in his life. David blamed diminishing royalty checks for The Partridge Family, health issues that prevented him from touring, and bad investments for his dire situation. Cassidy’s “challenging period” also included a divorce from third wife Sue Shifrin, multiple drunk driving arrests, eye surgeries, and a stay in a rehab facility.
At the time, Cassidy’s liabilities were listed at $2,143,367.97, while his assets, including his $3 million Fort Lauderdale home, two properties in the Bahamas, two cars, and $3,000 in bank accounts, totaled $3,714,913. In his court filing, Cassidy revealed that his average monthly income at the time was $12,500, but his expenses totaled $27,772, leaving him in the red by $15,000 every month. Cassidy later auctioned off his Fort Lauderdale home as part of a bankruptcy deal, according to Fisher Auctions.
That same year, David Cassidy won a lengthy legal battle with Sony over unpaid profits from Partridge Family memorabilia. David told CNN that Sony failed to pay him “a fortune” for what he was owed for merchandise from The Partridge Family. The AMC musical comedy, which aired from 1970 to 1974, spawned a long list of merchandise that featured Cassidy’s likeness, including lunchboxes, paper dolls, books, board games, and more.
“I don’t want to shame and embarrass and humiliate them, but I will if I have to,” Cassidy told CNN. “You owe me a fortune — you want to go to trial, big bad Sony against David Cassidy, go ahead.”
But while David Cassidy sued Sony for millions, he was only awarded $158,000 in the suit — which isn’t much more than he left his son in his will.