Inside Valerie Bertinelli's Split From Husband Tom Vitale

Valerie Bertinelli and her husband, Tom Vitale, are going their separate ways after more than a decade of marriage. The two tied the knot back in 2011, on New Year's Day no less, at a stunning surprise ceremony that took place at her home in Malibu. The big day came around eight months after Vitale popped the question and six years after they started dating (via People).

The "Touched by an Angel" and "Hot in Cleveland" star explained at the time that marriage wasn't necessarily the biggest priority for her, but noted that one of the big reasons they headed down the aisle together was because she wanted to call Vitale her husband. "I really wanted to share how I feel about Tom with the people I love," she said, noting at the time, now bittersweetly amid the news of their breakup, "I'm happier than ever!"

But there's no doubt Bertinelli has been dealing with some tough times in 2021. In July, the star went viral for a video posted to Instagram in which she called out vicious trolls who had been attacking her over her weight as she got extremely candid in front of the camera.

And now, the Food Network star is sadly topping off her tough year with a split.

Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale's separation

Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale are over. According to TMZ, Bertinelli filed papers on November 24, but interestingly has only asked for a legal separation at this point, not a full-blown divorce. It's not clear exactly what went wrong between the two, though the actor's legal papers cited "irreconcilable differences." The papers also requested that there's no spousal support on either side, and the couple don't have any children together, which should make things easier. It's also reported that they signed a prenup before getting married.

Prior to their split, the two seemed to be all about family and seamlessly blended their broods, as both were divorced and had children with previous partners. Vitale is a father of four and got divorced shortly before meeting Bertinelli, while she was married to Eddie Van Halen, the father of her son, Wolfgang, from 1981 to 2007.

"Val and I were coming from a tough time and wanting to move on but didn't want to trust anyone," Vitale told AARP during a joint interview with Bertinelli in 2020. "We just understood each other completely. My family is her family. It wasn't love at first sight; it was family at first sight."

The November split is no doubt topping off a very difficult time for Bertinelli, as it was in October 2020 that her first husband died. Speaking about Van Halen's death on Today in January, she admitted while tearing up that things had been "rough."

Valerie Bertinelli felt 'grief shamed'

In the lead up to Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale going their separate ways, Bertinelli was pretty vocal about the reaction she got to how she mourned her ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen, and how she struggled with losing him. Speaking on "Today" in February, the actor claimed she felt she'd been shamed for her grief, but didn't explicitly confirm who by.

"It's weird. Grief shame is something I never thought would happen to me. I don't want to talk about it right now, but I knew the man for 40 years. I was 20 when I met him. I still loved him," Food Network star Bertinelli shared as she teared up. "We spent a lot of time together. He's the father of my son. He's the father of the greatest gift in my life."

Bertinelli also touched on how the love she had for Van Halen was different for the love she had with Vitale. "I miss him. And I'm allowed to miss him. He was a huge part of my life," she continued. "Just because we loved each other didn't lessen the love that he had for [his wife Janie Liszewski] or me for Tom, so it's a different kind of love. I don't know how to explain it."

Vitale himself also shared a tribute to Van Halen in the wake of his passing, sharing a captionless video to Instagram of him on stage.

Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale were absent from each other's Instagrams

While Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale haven't shared exactly what went wrong in their marriage, prior to the news of their separation, the two seemed a little absent from one another's social media accounts. The last time Bertinelli appeared on Vitale's Instagram grid was seemingly back in April 2020 when he shared two photos with the star on a kitchen set alongside the caption, "Happy Birthday V."

As for when Bertinelli last shared a picture with her estranged husband? That appeared to be all the way back in December 2019 when she posted a snap to Instagram of her and Vitale smiling alongside their bikes for a giveaway.

Neither appears to yet have addressed the breakup on social media, though Bertinelli seemingly didn't let her split get in the way of the holidays. On November 25, Thanksgiving and one day after her filing, the star shared a snap of a stunning pumpkin wreath with "thankful" written in the center on Instagram. "I hope you all have a very wonderful day today!" she wrote with a double heart emoji. "Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!," she added, with a smiling face covered in red hearts.

She also reposted a reel from Laurasia Mattingly on her Instagram Story on Thanksgiving. The black and white video showed a woman walking into the ocean alongside the words, "Let this be a reminder... to step back and love exactly where you are."