Pop music legend David Cassidy allegedly tricked his family and friends into thinking he had stopped drinking as revealed in a new A&E documentary. He also dropped a stunning confession; he lied about having dementia. In David Cassidy: the Last Sessions, a documentary about the singer’s last months before his death, Cassidy confessed that a sudden fall in a recording studio wasn’t due to dementia, but instead was the result of excessive drinking.
“I have liver disease,” Cassidy shared with producer Saralena Weinfeld in a phone conversation, reported People Magazine. “There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was complete alcohol poisoning. The fact is that I lied about my drinking,” the television and singing superstar of the 1970s said. “I did [this] to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.”
Producers of the documentary reportedly were unsure if they should use this footage but ultimately decided to as a way to serve his legacy in a truthful manner. “We wanted to honor David because we really grew to like him,” Weinfeld said in a statement to People. “We didn’t want to exploit him. But ultimately he was honest about what killed him, and we decided that his legacy would be best served if we shared that.”
In the last years of David Cassidy’s life, the former teen idol struggled with alcohol abuse. This resulted in three DUI arrests in five years. After a 2014 trip to rehab, he told family and friends that he had stopped drinking and was clean and sober.
Page Six reported that the documentary shows a “frail and weak” Cassidy as he deals not only with his alcohol addiction but memory loss as he recorded a comeback album.
“I think it will strike a chord with people,” the documentary’s producer John Marks revealed to People. “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.”
David Cassidy died of organ failure in November 2017 at the age of 67.
The former teen idol’s fellow Partridge Family co-star, Danny Bonaduce, remarked to People that he “can’t be mad” at his old friend for hiding the truth about his alcohol use. “Part of alcoholism is lying,” Bonaduce 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.”
David Cassidy: the Last Session airs June 11 at 9 p.m. on A&E.