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David Cassidy has opened up about something very personal and also very troubling.
The 66-year-old actor and singer, best known around the world for his starring role as Keith Partridge on the 1970s series The Partridge Family, told People Magazine on Monday that he’s battling dementia.
Cassidy felt the need to discuss this diagnosis after a show in Agoura Hills, California this past weekend in which repeatedly struggled to remember lyrics to tracks he had been singing for nearly 50 years.
Some wondered whether Cassidy was drunk for the performance.
(He’s been arrested for DUI on multiple occasions over the past few years.)
But it turns out he had a different, very unfortunate excuse for the memory loss.
Speaking to People, Cassidy said he witnessed his grandfather fight the disease and saw his mother “disappear” into dementia until she passed away at age 89.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” Cassidy confessed.
Talking about his mother and her illness, the star added:
“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.”
Talk about truly heartbreaking stuff.
Having come to terms with his condition, Cassidy has made the choice to stop touring as a musician in order to concentrate on his health and happiness.
He doesn’t know how much longer he has left; or at least how much longer he has left in a coherent state of mind.
“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” he says. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
In November of 2010, Cassidy was charged with driving under the influence and was then charged with the same offense in August of 2013 and January of 2014.
A month after his third arrest, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy filed for divorce.
Then, in February of 2015, Cassidy filed for bankruptcy and was charged following his hit-and-run eight months later.
Is the dementia a defense for all of these actions? No.
But it is at least some kind of explanation.
In response to this news, former co-star Danny Bonaduce sent Cassidy his best wishes via Twitter on Monday night.
The two portrayed siblings for four years on The Partridge Family.
“David Cassidy once had a bigger fan club than Elvis & the Beatles. If you’re a fan, now is a great time to send him your love & best wishes,” Bonaduce wrote.
Bonaduce, who played the middle of five brothers and sisters on the series, was the first ex-Partridge Family cast member to speak on Cassidy’s condition.
We doubt he’ll be the last.
Please join us in sending David Cassidy your very best wishes during this difficult time in his life.
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