EDDIE VAN HALEN 'Had The Most Generous Heart' But 'Dealt With His Pain Through Drugs And Alcohol'

January 31, 2022

Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli discussed her new book, "Enough Already: Learning To Love The Way I Am Today", in a recent interview with Brigitte Quinn on 1010 WINS. Bertinelli reflected on the special relationship she had with her late ex-husband, saying: "We kept our connection. There was a few years, right after I moved out, that he was a little angry at me, but we always made an effort to stay in touch, to stay connected. Especially as [our son] Wolfie grew up, we wanted to co-parent as well as we could together. And I'm very grateful that, near the end of his life, we were able to come to an understanding of how sorry we were, we were able to atone for all of the regrets we had for how we treated each other and to come back to the love we originally shared for one another."

According to Valerie, both Ed and she were very different people from the way they were portrayed in pop culture. "We were really kind of homebodies," she said. "Except for our jobs — mine on television and Ed's in front of thousands and thousands of people playing — those were just things that we did; that wasn't who we are. And we kind of lived a very quiet, sheltered life together. I mean, there were some crazy times — yes, because there was drugs and alcohol; I mean, the '80s were crazy — but when you get down to it, Ed had the most generous heart. He was so kind. He just didn't know how to be that way with himself because he was in so much pain and he dealt with his pain through drugs and alcohol. And I was too young to really be as compassionate as I could have been back then."

Bertinelli split with Van Halen in 2002 after 21 years of marriage. They officially divorced in 2007. Eddie then went on to marry Janie Liszewski in 2009, while Valerie also remarried, tying the knot with Tom Vitale in 2011. Valerie told People magazine that both marriages were struggling before Eddie's death. She eventually filed for separation from Vitale in November 2021.

In "Enough Already: Learning To Love The Way I Am Today", Valerie writes about saying goodbye to Eddie when the legendary guitarist died from cancer. She and their son, Wolfgang, 30, were by his side in his final moments.

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

Eddie died in October 2020 at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist passed away at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness.

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