�� The Me-Too Movement -- My David Cassidy Encounter                                                                                                               

       By: Debra J.M. Smith

David Cassidy (with me) 1990
Photo: © Debra J.M. Smith

We all knew him as Keith Partridge, the sweet (Come on Get Happy) guy, Lady Shirley's stepson. Turned out, as per her tell-all book, Shirley was no lady. And that stepson, he was no gentleman. 

I was 29. David Cassidy was 40. I had never had any kind of crush on him. I was a Donny Osmond girl. When I was in love with Donny Osmond at 12 years old, David Cassidy was an adult.

So, here I was all grown up, with a three-year-old and a newborn baby, and David Cassidy was coming to do an autograph signing at a local bar/dance place. So, off my husband Tim and I went for me to meet David Cassidy.

Well, I was absolutely star-struck, not in love, just star-struck. That's me in the picture with him, asking him a few questions. I'm a talker and anything but a shy person.

I asked him about his stepmother. He did not seem so interested in that topic. I asked him if he was doing commercial songs, because some sounded like his voice. Well, he really did not like that. I suppose that was an insult to him. But in all fairness, he was a has-been at the time. Then I asked him if he ever helps people get into the singing business, because I sing and wanted to send him a demo tape. Has-beens help young people. Right? He had me write my name and phone number down. So, I was really excited now.

I made a friend with another star-struck gal at the place. Tim held both of our purses, while she and I danced the night away. David Cassidy was still there when Tim and I left. But as we were going around the back of the building, in our car, I saw David and this guy that was with him (his manager, I assumed), exiting the back door. So, I told Tim to stop the car and let me see him one last time. There were about five other gals out there, and we all shouted his name, and David saw me. He did this gun thing with his fingers to me, as he had done a few times inside, when I would call out his name after having met him. Oh, I had hugged him inside too. But I asked first.

So, here we were outside, these other gals and me, and David got into his limo with the other guy. Just then the door opens up a little bit and David yells out, "Debbie!" Well, I was not about to embarrass myself, thinking he was calling me, and I assumed he knew one of those other gals and that her name was also Debbie. After a little bit of silence, one of those gals waved her hand and said, "I'm Debbie," and she got into the limo. My hand to heaven, that happened over and over till the last of those gals entered his limo, and I was the only one out there with this man who appeared to be a bouncer from the place we were at.

Then the door to the limo opened wide enough for me to see David. And he looked right at me and pointed his finger and said, "Debbie!" So, what could I do? I got in the limo. My part in this is funny, kind of innocent, too innocent, a bit naive, to say the least. I thought he wanted to talk about my singing and maybe set something up for me to get a demo tape to him.

So, here I was sitting in that limo. Tim's out in our car next to the limo, and I'm looking at those other gals thinking, "I know what they are here for." Then a light went on over my head, ding! And I thought, "Oh, no, that's what he wants with me!!!"

Thatís when the star-struck crashed and reality set in, and I spoke up. I said, "um... My husband is right outside here in our car waiting for me. And we have to go pick up my babies." That's when David gave that gun finger thing again at me and said really nicely, "Then you'd better go." David held his hand out to me to help me across the limo floor to the door. As I made my way across from where I had sat, with David holding my hand, his manager looked so proud of me. I will never forget the look on that man's face. He probably never saw a gal get out.

There was one more thing that I said to David before getting out. While he was holding my hand, helping me to get to the door of the limo, I stopped and said to him, "I'll understand if you don't call." --Hello, save face. And honestly, I didn't want his help after what I realized he wanted.

The driver must have been able to hear, because he was right there opening the door from the outside. I got out of the limo and looked at the bouncer guy who was still standing there, and I said, "What's he going to do with those girls?" I guess I was holding out hope that he was not really going to do what I thought he was going to do. Well, that bouncer guy said to me, "What do you THINK he's going to do with those girls! --Sweet Keith Partridge, David Cassidy was very naughty. And get this, he had someone at home. His son was born about a year later.

So, should I be part of the me-too movement over this? Sorry, but nobody forced me into that limo. When I realized what was going on, I got out of the situation before anything could happen. Other women, like Ashley Judd, the one who started the me-too movement over her encounter with Harvey Weinstein, also decades ago, could have gotten out soon enough, as well. Women like her chose to stay too long, because they wanted a career boost. The men are pigs, no doubt. But women who willingly stayed past when the light went on really messed up. 

Extra: Here is a link to a video that appears to have been recorded the day he came to Rochester, New York, where and when I saw him. He's wearing the same outfit and mentions that he will be in Rochester later that day. And it was recorded in 1990:

© Debra J.M. Smith