‘I loved his soul’: Valerie Bertinelli reflects on last goodbye to Eddie Van Halen

Actor and rocker were married for 26 years

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 05 January 2022 16:22
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Wolfgang Van Halen paid tribute to his Father on what would've been his birthday.

Valerie Bertinelli has reflected on the last words she said to her first husband Eddie Van Halen before he died of cancer in late 2020.

The One Day at a Time star and the Van Halen musician were married for 26 years between 1981 and 2007. They share a son, Wolfgang, who is now 30.

In an extract from her new memoir Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today obtained by People, Bertinelli discusses Van Halen’s death.

She writes that as Van Halen lay dying, she told her ex-husband through tears: “Maybe next time. Maybe next time, we’ll get it right.”

She says they shared almost four decades of “love, anger, frustration and friendship” before the rock musician died in October 2020, at age 65.

"I loved Ed more than I know how to explain," writes Bertinelli. "I loved his soul."

“We were portrayed as a mismatch,” she writes of their early years. “The bad boy rock star and America’s sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn’t the person people thought he was and neither was I.”

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen

She adds: “I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain.”

Bertinelli reveals that, after the couple’s divorce in 2007, and even after both went on to remarry, they remained close. She says they grew even closer as Van Halen’s cancer spread.

In the final weeks of Van Halen’s life, Bertinelli and Wolfgang spent every day in the hospital, where the rocker was surrounded by his loved ones, including his second wife, Janie Liszewski, and his brother, Alex Van Halen.

“‘I love you’ are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me,” Bertinelli writes, “and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing.”

Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today will be released on 18 January.

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