Valerie Bertinelli Emotionally Details What Made Her Relationship With Eddie Van Halen So Complicated

Fans around the world were saddened when legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen died on October 6, 2020. The musician had been dealing with cancer for over a decade and spent his last five years traveling between the U.S. and Germany to undergo chemotherapy treatments, according to TMZ. Van Halen died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, where he was surrounded by his family, including his wife Janie, brother Alex, son Wolfgang, and ex-wife, actor Valerie Bertinelli.

Shortly after his death, Bertinelli paid tribute to her ex-husband on Instagram. "40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang," she wrote, alongside a black and white family portrait of them. "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." Bertinelli and Van Halen got divorced in 2005 after 20 years of marriage, according to People.

Now, over a year has passed since Van Halen's death, and Bertinelli has bared all about their complicated relationship.

Bertinelli and Van Halen had extreme highs and lows

Prior to their divorce in the mid-2000s, Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen had an enviable romance, per Page Six. He was the legendary rocker while she was one of the hottest stars on television. However, the couple could not make it work after 20 years of marriage.

In an interview with Today on January 18, Bertinelli said that their marriage broke down because of their naivete. "We weren't really good to each other at a lot of points in our lives because we met so young and were very immature," Bertinelli told host Hoda Kotb, adding that she and Van Halen "went through a lot of hell" in their relationship. Bertinelli, though, doesn't regret having loved Van Halen and noted that they were able "to come to a beautiful place by the end of his life." Bertinelli also expressed gratitude that Van Halen gave her the gift of their son, Wolfgang. "I think that partly Wolfie is a soul mate of mine. When I think of soul mate, I think of souls that come here to experience this life on Earth together again and get to a higher place," Bertinelli explained. She added, "I definitely, definitely know that was part of Ed. I loved his soul deeply."

Van Halen's death has hit Wolfgang particularly hard too, but there have been some bright spots since, like when he got nominated for a Grammy in November 2021. The nomination was for "Distance," a song he wrote in honor of his late dad, per Variety.