David Cassidy: ‘If I take another drink, I’m going to die’

Posted at 12:04 PM, Mar 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-27 12:04:04-04

(CNN) — Pop icon David Cassidy, in rehab after his latest DUI arrest, says if he ever takes another drink, it could be fatal.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Cassidy admitted that his latest drunken driving arrest was a wake-up call.

“If I take another drink, I’m going to die, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I’m dead,” Cassidy, 63, said. “You know, they say it’s a slippery slope. … It’s not a slippery slope. It’s from 12:00 to 6:00 on the clock and the whole face is ice. One sip, one drink, because there is no such a thing, not to an alcoholic. You have one and you’re — you’re done. I’d be done.”

Cassidy said it was time to stop being in denial and be honest with himself.

“It’s very painful, especially when I spent most of my life being what I would consider a very loving, caring charitable man and someone who has always protected my own image until the time, not wanting to disappoint the millions of fans that I have around the world. And, and it’s very humbling and it’s also humiliating.”

Cassidy checked into rehab in South Florida after being arrested on a DUI charge on January 10 in Los Angeles after stopping for a drink on his way to the airport. He pleaded no contest and received a sentence of five years’ probation and 90 days in rehab, although his manager said he will be credited for the time he has already spent in residential treatment

That incident followed DUI arrests in August 2013 in Schodack, New York, (that case is still pending) and one in St. Lucie County, Florida, in November 2010 for which he received a sentence of a year’s probation and had his license suspended for six months. The singer also received community service and a fine in that case.

His interview with Morgan was the first time Cassidy had publicly talked about his struggle to stay sober.

“I am most definitely an alcoholic,” Cassidy said. “And the interesting thing about it and the way you end up with multiple DUIs — I never got arrested for anything until I was basically 60 years old. And I have very, very strong values about what I am and who I am.

“I’ve done an enormous amount of bringing light into people’s lives, and I’m very proud of that and touching and inspiring people.”

He admitted that until his latest arrest, “I had been lying to myself and consequently lying to everyone else about my disease.”

Cassidy came to fame with his role as Keith Partridge in the hit ’70s TV show “The Partridge Family,” and toured the world singing his hit songs. At the time, his fan club was bigger than Elvis and The Beatles and he continues to perform around the country.

The drinking began in 2002, he said, and then got worse over time. This is Cassidy’s third stint in rehab.

“I certainly never drank or took any drugs or narcotics, contrary to whatever has been printed, when I was doing ‘The Partridge Family’ or thereafter for that matter,” he said.

In recent months, the former teen idol acknowledged that he was on a downward spiral.

In addition to the most recent arrest, his third wife filed for divorce. Asked how she would react to how the drinking affected his behavior, he told Morgan, “She’d just say it made me an ass. … you know it made me a fricking d**k. And you know, I wasn’t … authentic, OK. It’s because I have an allergy to it. My personality changes I’m not aware of it. I never stop talking, you know. … it’s obnoxious. It’s embarrassing.”

Despite all his recent setbacks, Cassidy said he had recently had a life-altering “spiritual experience.”

“I dropped to my knees and I felt something go through me that was like, I felt this experience that was just, thank you God. I felt this relief. I begged it and I was crying and weeping like a little boy, like a, like a sobbing little infant, like I’m sure I did many time