'Partridge Family' dispute led to David Cassidy drinking relapse, manager says

Story highlights

  • "David just completed a stint in rehab and was doing very well in sobriety," rep says
  • He relapsed after stressful questioning by lawyers, manager says
  • "It appears as if the pressure led to a brief relapse," she says
  • Friday's drunken driving arrest was the singer-actor's third in three years

Stressful questioning by lawyers about "Partridge Family" profits apparently drove David Cassidy to drink, leading to his third drunken driving arrest in three years, his manager said Monday.

"David just completed a stint in rehab and was doing very well in sobriety," manager Jo-Ann Geffen said.

The former teen idol will return to an undisclosed facility to resume his alcohol rehab in the wake of Friday night's arrest, Geffen said.

"He was in Los Angeles to attend depositions by Sony Pictures Television, respondents in a lawsuit filed by Cassidy in 2011 over what he claims are monies long due him from 'Partridge Family' merchandise, home video, etc.," she said. "After attending his and his manager's depositions, it appears as if the pressure led to a brief relapse."

Cassidy, 63, was on his way to the Los Angeles airport  "to return to his home in Florida and to transitional rehabilitation" when he was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer, she said.

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The singer-actor blew .19 -- twice the legal level -- on an alcohol test administered by the officer who stopped his rented Chevrolet Impala, according to a California Highway Patrol statement on Saturday.

The former star of the TV series "The Partridge Family" was booked in a Los Angeles jail on a driving under the influence of alcohol charge early Saturday, the statement said. Jail records show he was freed on $15,000 bond several hours later.

"Cassidy was observed making a right turn on a red light, in violation of a black and white regulatory sign indicating 'No Right Turn On Red,'" the California Highway Patrol said. The traffic stop happened off the 405 Freeway, near the Los Angeles International Airport.

The officer noticed "the odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitting from the vehicle" when he approached Cassidy, who was alone in the car, the release said.

Cassidy was arrested on a drunken driving charge in Schodack, New York, in August after he failed to dim his car's headlights at a police checkpoint, according to the police report. He blew a .10 in the Breathalyzer device, the report said. The legal blood alcohol limit is .08 in New York. That case is still pending.

Cassidy, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, entered a no contest plea as a first-time offender in February 2011 to a drunken driving charge that followed a November 2010 arrest in Florida. He was sentenced to a year's probation and his driver's license was suspended for six months for that conviction. He also attended a DUI school, paid a $500 fine and served 50 hours of community service.

On the TV series, Cassidy played the eldest of five children of a widowed mother (Shirley Jones, who was then Cassidy's real-life stepmother).

The family, all musicians, traveled to gigs in a repainted school bus. When the show was canceled after four seasons, Cassidy launched his own pop music career, filling concert halls with screaming teenage girls attracted to such hits as "I Think I Love You."