Valerie Bertinelli says Eddie Van Halen was not her ‘soulmate’ as she reflects on infidelity in their marriage

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen were married for two decades

Amber Raiken
New York
Friday 03 May 2024 16:03 BST
Related: All The Details About Valerie Bertinelli’s Food Network Exit Explained

Valerie Bertinelli has opened up about her marriage with Eddie Van Halen and how she realised that he wasn’t her “soulmate”.

In a video shared to her Instagram on Thursday, the 64-year-old actor reflected on her relationship with her late ex-husband, who’s the father of her 33-year-old son, Wolfgang Van Halen. She said that she’d just tried to watch her son’s appearance in the Paramount show Behind the Music, where Wolfgang reflected on his father’s life and career.

“It was not easy,” she said about watching the episode. “I’d stopped it many times because it was just too brutal to watch for many reasons.”

She discussed how the episode reminded her of her struggles when raising her son and the challenges in her relationship with Eddie, who she was married to for 20 years.

“One, seeing Wolfie’s pain,” she said, referring to why the show was difficult to watch. “Two, seeing what a better job I could have done as a parent even though he turned out magnificently. I made a lot of mistakes. And three, seeing what I had turned of Ed’s and my relationship,  into some sort of fantasy, soulmate recreation of history.”

After pointing out that she “fell in love” with Eddie when she was 20, their relationship took a quick turn from there, noting that it “rapidly declined into drugs, alcohol and infidelity”.

She acknowledged that those behaviours led to the end of her marriage, adding: “Nothing that makes you feel loved, wanted, and cared for. Nothing that screams ‘soulmate,’ that’s for sure.

However, she still highlighted how much grief she felt when Eddied died in 2020 due to complications from throat cancer.

“But after Ed died, I was more than willing to put myself in the grieving widow category for a man that I hadn’t lived with for 20 years,” she continued.

The One Day at A Time alum concluded her video by expressing her gratitude for her ex and their relationship since they had a son together.

“​​What we had together was this beautiful son that we both unconditionally loved,” she added. “That’s what I got out of that marriage: Wolfie. The best thing that ever happened to me. Not a soulmate.”

Following his appearance on Behind The Music, Wolfgang took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to speak candidly about his bond with his late father.

“I had the honour of being asked to tell my story on Behind The Music,” he wrote. “It was difficult, but also incredibly cathartic being able to reflect on my experiences, the incredible people I’m blessed to have in my life and most importantly, my bond with my father. I don’t normally talk so openly about things, so this was new for me.”

Wolfgang is the only son of Eddie and Bertinelli, who first tied the knot in 1981. They announced they were separating in 2001 before officially getting divorced in 2007. While Bertinelli remarried in 2011 to Tom Vitale, the pair announced their split in 2022.

When Eddie died in 2020, he not only had his son by his side but also his ex-wife. During an interview with People in April, Bertinelli opened up about holding her ex’s hand when he died and being with his family in the hospital afterward. She specified that after Eddie passed, the group opted to order some of his favourite foods.

“I forget who suggested it, but we were like: ‘Should we have pizza?’ ... Because he couldn’t eat, and the last thing Ed really wanted was pizza,” she said. “He loved pizza and burritos, so we had pizza in his hospital room. I hope people don’t think that’s morbid.”

She reflected on how much she and her ex-husband cared for each other, adding: “He knew how much I loved him. I knew how much he loved me. The last words he said to me and to Wolfie were: ‘I love you.’ Ed was very giving with his heart. He wore it on his sleeve.”

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