Former teen idol David Cassidy says he has dementia

Former teen idol David Cassidy said on Monday he was suffering from dementia
David Cassidy smiling for photographers outside the Phoenix theatre in London, Britain, on Oct 23, 1995.
David Cassidy smiling for photographers outside the Phoenix theatre in London, Britain, on Oct 23, 1995. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former teen idol David Cassidy said on Monday he was suffering from dementia, a day after weekend performances in California in which he forgot his words and appeared to fall off stage raised concerns about his health.

The former Partridge Family singer and actor, 66, told People magazine he was fighting dementia, a disease which his mother also suffered from.

"I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," he told People.

He said he had decided to stop touring as a musician to concentrate on his health. "I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I've been, without any distractions," he said. 'I want to love. I want to enjoy life."

His publicist said his comments were accurate but gave no further details.


David Cassidy smiling for photographers outside the Phoenix theatre in London, Britain, on Oct 23, 1995. PHOTO: REUTERS

His comments followed videos taken by fans of the singer struggling to remember words to some of his old hits at small venue concerts in southern California on Saturday and Sunday.

At one point, he appeared to fall off the side of a small stage before climbing back up.

Cassidy, whose hits Cherish and I Think I Love You had teenage girls swooning in the 1970s, has struggled with drinking and financial troubles in recent years.

In 2015, he had to auction his Florida home after a bankruptcy filing.

He was arrested three times for drunken driving between 2010 and 2014, and was ordered to undergo rehab as part of his sentence in 2014.

Cassidy appeared in several stage shows after his career as a solo singer declined.

He played an ageing former teen heartthrob in the short-lived 2009 TV comedy Ruby & The Rockits and was a member of the Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show in 2011.