David Cassidy Feared Fans Would Mistake His Dementia for Alcohol Abuse: 'It's a Tricky Business'

Cassidy says he has been sober "pretty much" since his stint in rehab two years ago

David Cassidy doesn’t want people to mistake his battle with dementia as a sign that his alcohol abuse is relapsing.

The former Partridge Family star and musician, who revealed to PEOPLE in this week’s issue that he is fighting the memory loss disease, says his current battle is separate from his past struggles with alcoholism.

“I was concerned people would mistake my alcoholism with my diagnosis,” says Cassidy after footage showed him struggling to remember lyrics to songs that he had been singing for nearly 50 years during a show in Agoura Hills, California on Saturday.

“It’s a tricky business,” he added.

Cassidy, 66, publiclyadmitted his struggle with alcohol abuse in 2008. Despite multiple efforts to get his addiction under control, he repeatedly relapsed. He was arrested for driving under the influence in 2010, 2013 and again in 2014. He has also battled substance abuse issues, which involved a stint in rehab in 2014.

Cassidy says he has been sober “pretty much” since rehab, but admits that in his darkest days he found solace in self-medicating.

“I remember times in my life that I wouldn’t speak to another person for a few months,” says the star. “I was fine with it.”

  • For more on how David Cassidy is coping with his dementia diagnosis, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Asked if he has any regrets about his years in the spotlight after skyrocketing to fame, Cassidy says, “The list of things I’ve done that I wish I wouldn’t have would be so long that I couldn’t possibly share it.”


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