The real reason Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen divorced

Following the death of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen on Oct. 6, 2020, there was a renewed interest in his relationship with the famous actor, Valerie Bertinelli (pictured right). The two wed in 1981 after a whirlwind eight-month courtship when Bertinelli was just 20 years old, and in 1991, they welcomed a son, Wolfgang "Wolf" Van Halen. The union would continue for 10 years until the couple's separation in 2001, followed by their divorce in 2007.

One year after the divorce got finalized, Bertinelli spoke out about the marriage and subsequent split, with the Hot in Cleveland star opening up after she landed a new role as the spokesperson for weight-loss company Jenny Craig. The timing also coincided with the release of her memoir Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time. During an interview with Today, Bertinelli explained why she decided to come clean, sharing, "I figured I really had been under this façade for so long. And then when Jenny Craig called me and I was able to successfully do their diet, I thought there's nothing left to really hide from anymore."

Keep reading after the jump to find out else Bertinelli had to say about her past, including why her marriage to Van Halen ultimately ended.

Valerie Bertinelli felt 'guilt' in her marriage

In 2008, sitcom star Valerie Bertinelli claimed that both illicit drug use and infidelity were the catalysts for her divorce to rock star Eddie Van Halen. "The priest we tapped to perform the ceremony gave us questionnaires so he could get to know us better and offer more personal words," Bertinelli recalled in her memoir. "As we filled out the forms at home, we each held a little vial of coke." She added, "It doesn't really bode well for the marriage, I don't think."

But drugs were just the tip of the iceberg, as Bertinelli also admitted that she had been unfaithful to Van Halen. "Yes, I did, four years into our marriage, cheat," she divulged to Today. "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." The star also disclosed that the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, were a wakeup call and played a part in her decision to go separate ways. "I got tired of, once again, hiding and thinking this is not the life I want for myself, for Wolfie [their son], especially, and I don't want to keep treating Ed so badly."

The couple finalized their divorce in December of 2007, and Bertinelli went on to marry Tom Vitale. As for Van Halen, he found love again with Janie Liszewski, who he wed in 2009.

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli remained friends post-divorce

Although Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli ultimately divorced in 2007, they managed to remain great friends and successfully co-parent their son Wolfgang together. In fact, the two were such great friends that Van Halen even invited his ex-wife and mother of his child to his nuptials with Janie Liszewski in 2009, as reported by People. Their son Wolfgang acted as ring bearer during the ceremony and Van Halen's brother Alex officiated the ceremony. Talk about a family affair! And in 2011, per People, Van Halen returned the favor by being present at Bertinelli's wedding to second husband Tom Vitale.

But make no mistake about it — Van Halen and Bertinelli are no fair-weather friends. They showed up for one another during the tough times, too. Per the Vancouver Sun, Bertinelli visited her ex-husband multiple times while he underwent cancer treatments. A source told the publication that Bertinelli was very attentive to Van Halen during his time of need. "When she and Eddie were together, she was always cleaning him up, straightening his tie or helping him comb his hair. That's the way she is. And I think she feels Eddie needs that now," the source revealed.

Valerie Bertinelli crafted an emotional tribute to Eddie Van Halen after his death

Hours after Eddie Van Halen's passing, actress Valerie Bertinelli took to Instagram to pen a thoughtful tribute to her former spouse and father of her adult son. "[Forty] years ago my life changed forever when I met you," Bertinelli wrote. "You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love." Along with the post, Bertinelli shared a photo of herself, Van Halen and their infant son together.

Many celebrities extended their condolences and well wishes on Bertinelli's post including Heather Locklear, Roma Downey, and Ree Drummond. Van Halen and Bertinelli's son, Wolfgang, also commented on the post with three simple words, "Love you, Ma."