A new David Cassidy documentary is shedding some surprising light on the actor, who claims in the upcoming film that he wasn't suffering from dementia and was still drinking in the final years of his life — despite telling friends and family he quit after a 2014 trip to rehab, PEOPLE reports.
In the new film that airs on A&E next week, it's revealed that the teen idol called producers after being rushed to the hospital when he fell ill in a recording studio, just two months before he died of organ failure. The 67-year-old actor told producer Saralena Weinfeld that he was dealing with disease.
"I have a liver disease," Cassidy told the A&E producer. "There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was complete alcohol poisoning."
The Partridge Family star didn't stop there.
"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 lie he was referring to came months prior, after many claimed he was drunk during a performance in Aurora Hills in which he fell off the stage, The Daily Mail reports. Shortly after he made headlines for the appearance, Cassidy told Dr. Phil he was diagnosed with dementia — the reason he supposedly fell off the stage.
"I certainly wasn't intoxicated and it has nothing to do with why I'm leaving," Cassidy told the talk show host.
"Certainly, my dementia has contributed to the reason why I don't want to go out and I dont' want to hear, 'Well, he looked like he was drunk or he looked like he was' - I wasn't," he added.
However, Cassidy wanted to be honest about his issues once and for all, which is why he revealed that he was still abusing alcohol until the last months of his life, a confession that surprised producers of the series. Although the news was likely devastating for his family — who assumed he was clean and sober — the admission isn't shocking to some friends who were close to him.
"Part of alcoholism is lying," said Danny Bonaduce, Cassidy's co-star on Partridge Family. "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.
The recorded confession was edited into a documentary, David Cassidy: the Last Session, in which a frail Cassidy comes to terms with his failing health and memory loss as he records new music to try to make a comeback.0comments
"I think it will strike a chord with people," said producer John Marks. "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."
The film airs at 9 p.m. ET June 11 on A&E.