David Cassidy, the longtime singer, reportedly confessed that he didn’t actually suffer from dementia and was still drinking, despite saying the contrary in interviews.
In 2014, after a stint in rehab, Cassidy said that he had stopped drinking, People magazine reported.
But in a new documentary from A&E, Cassidy, who died last year, admitted that he had been drinking.
“I have a liver disease,” Cassidy explained to A&E producer Saralena Weinfield, People reported. “There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was complete alcohol poisoning.”
He then admitted that he was drinking. “The fact is that I lied about my drinking,” he said. “I did this to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.”
The admission sent shockwaves throughout the community who knew him.
“Part of alcoholism is lying,” said Partridge costar Danny Bonaduce to People magazine. “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.”
Cassidy, whose hits “Cherish” and “I Think I Love You,” had teen girls swooning in the 1970s, was arrested three times for drunken driving between 2010 and 2014 and ordered to rehab as part of his sentence in 2014, Reutersreported.
The documentary, which chronicled the singer’s attempts to make a comeback and cope with dementia, was filmed in the months before his death and is due to be broadcast on cable channel A&E on June 11.
Cassidy, who was married three times, left a son, Beau, and a daughter Katie.
“We, the Cassidy family, were not affiliated with the A&E documentary. All we are interested in is maintaining the legacy of the icon he was,” Beau Cassidy said in a statement to Reuters on Wednesday.
Weinfield told People magazine: “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.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
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