David Cassidy prepares to auction Florida mansion
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Like many of his baby boomer peers with grown children and debts to settle, one-time heartthrob David Cassidy is looking to downsize.
He’s taking some last looks around his five-bedroom Florida mansion, worrying over bougainvillea he has tended around the stone pool deck for 13 years and taking stock of the property he says is his favorite out of all the homes he’s owned.
But once he hands over the keys, the singer and former star of “The Partridge Family” television series says he’s not looking back — not at the house or the last few years that have been overshadowed by personal struggles.
Cassidy, 65 and the father of two, is auctioning the waterfront home and all its furnishings Sept. 9 as part of bankruptcy and divorce proceedings.
“My soon-to-be ex-wife and I need to resolve our financial problems,” Cassidy told The Associated Press while leading a home tour last week.
Fisher Auction Company, which also handled the 2013 auction of the Miami Beach mansion where fashion designer Gianni Versace lived and died, is requiring potential bidders to deposit $200,000 into escrow and prove they have at least $3 million available for the sale.
Cassidy bought the house in a ritzy Fort Lauderdale neighborhood in 2001 for $1.1 million, and he estimates he spent about $1 million more in renovations that expanded the house to roughly 7,000 square feet.
Among the renovations was a wall that helped preserve a fuchsia bougainvillea plant Cassidy estimates is 50 years old. He ran his hands over its thick, gnarled trunk, hoping the new owners take care of it, too.
“I put so much time and love and energy into this,” he said.
Gardening has long been a hobby for Cassidy, and he says puttering around his palm-shaded property has been a solace over the last few years.
Aside from declaring bankruptcy in February, Cassidy this spring was sentenced to a $900 fine and community service for a 2013 drunken-driving charge in upstate New York.
Last year, Cassidy’s wife filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage, and he entered alcohol rehabilitation after being charged with driving while intoxicated in Los Angeles in 2014.
Cassidy also had his license suspended for six months after pleading no contest to driving under the influence in Florida in 2011.
Cassidy says he doesn’t spend much time online or watching the news.
“It’s way too negative for me. I deal with depression, anxiety,” he said. “It comes from the external problems I’ve been dealing with. But they all will, as everything does in the end, … wash away.”
Cassidy once joked that he got a phone call every time his former “Partridge Family” co-star Danny Bonaduce got into trouble over the years. Now Bonaduce has received a few phone calls about him, Cassidy said.
“He’s like my brother,” Cassidy said. “He has always reached out to me, and I always reached out to him.”
While he’s looking for a smaller house, Cassidy says he has no plans to retire. He still plays his old hits when he tours, which has become more difficult to do with arthritis.
The pianos and guitars displayed throughout his home won’t be included in the auction, as he’s working on a Christmas album and an album of songs he learned from his father, actor and singer Jack Cassidy.
Cassidy’s plans for now are simple: sell off his assets, pay back his creditors, finalize his divorce and move on with his girlfriend, an interior designer.
“If you were alone in my situation, I think you’d be very unhappy,” he said.