The music world has been shaken over the death of Eddie Van Halen, and it's caused many fans to wonder about his previous marriage to actress Valerie Bertinelli. Van Halen was the iconic guitarist of Van Halen, the self-monikered rock band he founded with his brother in the 1970s. Sadly, the rock legend died on Oct. 6, after a long battle with cancer.
After reports of Van Halen's death emerged, Wolfgang issued a heartbreaking statement on the news, confirming that it was true. "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," he wrote. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift.
Wolfgang added, "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop." Following the news, many started in express curiosity on social media about Van Halen's decades-long relationship with Bertinelli. Scroll down to learn more about the former couple, and read all the important things to remember about their marriage.
When They Met
Van Halen and Bertinelli first met when she accompanied her brothers to a Van Halen concert in 1980. "I took a look at the 8-track cassette that was in the back of my Corvette," she recalled while speak to Oprah Winfrey in a 2008 interview, "and I saw a picture of Ed, and I went, 'Oh, yeah, I’ll be going. He’s a cutie.'"
According to Showbiz Cheatsheet, they brought her along because they thought they could use her stardom to help them get backstage to meet the band. Turns out, they were right. "You had to peel me off the floor," she said of meeting the guitarist. A couple of days later, she reached out to her to see if they could get together. "So I went out and visited, and we never separated from then on," she said.prevnext
In 1981, one year after they began dating, Bertinelli and Van Halen got married. "The priest we tapped to perform the ceremony gave us questionnaires so he could get to know us better and offer more personal words," she said. "As we filled out the forms at home, we each held a little vial of cocaine. Now, if you ask me, those are not two people who should be making decisions about the rest of their lives."prevnext
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After a decade of marriage, the couple welcomed their son, Wolfgang Van Halen, into the world in 1991. They three have always had a deeply close relationship, with Wolfgang joining his father's band as its bass player. To this day, Bertinelli's Twitter handle is "Wolfiesmom."prevnext
On the Rocks
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Notably, throughout their relationship, Bertinelli and Van Halen had troubles. She even confessed to infidelity after only a few years. "Yes, I did, four years into our marriage, cheat," she revealed during a Today show interview in 2008. "And it was a shame and it was a guilt that I carried with me for a very long time. And I don’t like that, so I really wanted to get that out of me."prevnext
In 2001, the couple separated. Their divorce was finalized in 2007. "I got tired of, once again, hiding and thinking this is not the life I want for myself, for Wolfie, especially, and I don’t want to keep treating Ed so badly," she said of the split. In her autobiography, Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time, Bertinelli pointed at Van Halen's cocaine addiction the one of the main reasons for the divorce. She also cited his refusal to quit smoking even after being diagnosed with oral cancer and having to have one-third of his tongue surgically removed in the treatment process.prevnext
Following the couple's divorce, Van Halen went on to marry Janie Liszewski, a former stunt performer and actress who became his publicist in 2007. Bertinelli moved on as well, revealing in 2010 that she was engaged to financial planner Tom Vitale. They couple married in 2011 and remain together today.prevnext
While their marriage had its fair share of ups and downs, Bertinelli and Van Halen went on to have an amicable and loving freindship afterwards. Both even attended one another's weddings to their new partners. Following the news of Van Halen;s death, Bertinelli issued a statement, saying that her "life changed when" she met him "40 years ago." She also praised his "gorgeous spirit," and added, "I will see you in our next life my love."prev