Tragic Details About Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli has spent decades capturing the hearts of audiences on hit TV shows like "Hot in Cleveland," "One Day at a Time," and "Touched by an Angel," as seen on her IMDb. The actor even went on to star in her own Food Network show, "Valerie's Home Cooking," which has been running for 12 seasons. Throughout her successful acting career, Bertinelli has gone through many life-changing events. She became a mother, endured the end of two long-term relationships, and lost a soulmate, all while fulfilling her duties at work. Is there anything she can't do?

The "Enough Already" author revealed tons of shocking details about her tumultuous journey in her memoir. She opened up about how the passing of her ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen of rock band Van Halen, affected her. Bertinelli also uncovered unexpected details about the pair's marriage. She explained, via People: "We were portrayed as a mismatch. The bad boy rock star and America's sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn't the person people thought he was and neither was I." 

Eddie Van Halen's tragic passing was not the only hardship Bertinelli opened up about recently. It turns out the actor's life has seemingly been plagued with misfortune. These tragic details about Valerie Bertinelli reveal just how strong she truly is.

Valerie Bertinelli is still coping with Eddie Van Halen's death

The dynamic of Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli's relationship was typical of many young Hollywood couples. Their whirlwind romance was riddled with ups and downs, though the pair lasted longer than many might have expected. Van Halen and Bertinelli were married for 20 years and had a child together, before separating then divorcing 6 years later, Page Six reported. So, it is no surprise that Bertinelli was greatly impacted by her ex-husband's death; Van Halen died of cancer at age 65. Bertinelli spoke out about her grieving journey in an Instagram Live. "We had some very difficult, very challenging times, but we had some beautiful times too," she shared, via Today. "And the lovely thing about grief — the gift that it gives you — is that it's so much easier to remember the beautiful moments, than the challenging and the difficult moments that you have with that person."

The actor also revealed that she was shamed for grieving Van Halen's death, even though she was married to him for decades and they shared a child. "It's weird. Grief shame is something I never thought would happen to me," she shared in an interview on "Today." She went on to defend herself from the unwarranted backlash. "And I miss him. And I'm allowed to miss him," she said. "He was a huge part of my life." The star has continued to open up about this tragic loss over the years.

Her marriage with Eddie Van Halen was toxic at times

Although the "One Day at a Time Star" speaks mostly positively about her and Eddie Van Halen's relationship, she admits the marriage had its tumultuous moments. "We went through a lot of hell as well. 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," Valerie Bertinelli told "Today." The pair tied the knot when Van Halen was 26 and Bertinelli 20, so they went through the struggles young couples typically endure all while living high-profile lives, per Page Six.

In her book, "Losing It," Bertinelli revealed that drug use played a role in the fallout of the marriage. "I was done with coke," she wrote in regards to her own drug use during the relationship. The actor also discussed other factors that led to the breakup. "It wasn't one thing or another as much as it was everything together. There was a lot going on: Ed's fights with Dave [David Lee Roth], Ed's drinking and coke, his obsessive work habits." Despite toxic moments throughout the relationship, however, Bertinelli remained on good terms with Van Halen over the years. The two even attended each other's subsequent weddings and successfully raised son Wolfgang Van Halen together, Page Six reported.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

She healed her broken relationship with Van Halen, then lost him

Although Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen had a troubled past, they didn't let that get in the way of their friendship. Bertinelli managed to work through her heartache to maintain a positive relationship with her ex-husband. She spoke about their deep connection on the "Today" show, sharing: "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. I definitely, definitely know that was part of Ed. I loved his soul deeply." Perhaps it was this undeniable connection that helped the couple settle their differences, something Bertinelli is seemingly grateful for. "I'm so happy that we were able to come to a beautiful place by the end of his life. I wish he was still here."

The "Hot in Cleveland" star also wrote about her post-divorce relationship with Van Halen in her book, "Enough Already." Apparently, the actor and her ex-husband agreed they needed to stay in each other's lives. "The love we have always had for each other proved stronger and more resilient than anything else. We chose to remain friends and family," Bertinelli wrote (via CNN). And while they mended their relationship, they ended up having to say goodbye too soon, a fact that still hasn't settled with Bertinelli yet. She told the "Today" show that she has tried to text Van Halen "a few dozen times" since his death.

Valerie Bertinelli's brother died before she was born

While pregnant with Valerie Bertinelli, her mother, Nancy, lost her 17-month-old baby boy. As a result, the star had to watch her mother grieve as she grew up. The actor detailed the tragedy in an interview with People. "He died in the most horrible way. They were visiting a friends' farm and he wandered off unsupervised and drank poison out of a bottle that wasn't supposed to have poison in it. It was a soda pop bottle," she said. Bertinelli was not informed of her baby brother's passing until later in her life. Her family kept the death a secret in hopes of protecting their daughter. Bertinelli told People: "The subject was too painful. My parents kept the tragedy locked inside."

She went on to explain that motherhood allowed her to better understand just how resilient her own mother must have been, being able to care for a newborn while mourning the loss of a child. "She had to keep going and I learned that from her. She had to carry on. She had a very hard life. She always tried to make the best of everything," Bertinelli said (per People). The Food Network star's admiration for her late mother is evident. She shared a heartfelt Instagram post in honor of her mom that read in part, "Life was not easy for you and it really gave you too much heartbreak. Still you had a sense of humor through it all."

The TV legend struggles with body image issues

In Hollywood, many women fall victim to the unrealistic expectations placed upon their appearances — and Valerie Bertinelli was no exception. The actor has opened up about the struggles she's faced with her body image and food. "It's a very toxic relationship and I think that being judged on your size is never OK," she shared in an interview with ET. "But I learned at a very young age that I was unlovable if I gained weight — and that's a lie." Bertinelli also took to Instagram to share a video she recorded during a time when she was struggling with confidence. In it, she explains she began "spiraling" after seeing a photo of herself she wasn't happy with. She explained to ET how she was able to overcome that moment of hardship: "I felt myself spiraling and I think that's when we stop ourselves and start to look at all the beautiful gifts we have in our life."

Over the years, Bertinelli has managed to repair her relationship with food. "I used to just [have] such a difficult relationship with food and I'm not going to do that anymore. It started off as love and now it's back to love again," she revealed to ET. Although the "Touched by an Angel" actor still has bad days, she is seemingly on the road to recovery.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Valerie Bertinelli regrets she wasn't there for her co-star

In 2009, Valerie Bertinelli's "One Day at a Time" co-star, Mackenzie Phillips, sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview that shocked the nation. As detailed on, Phillips discussed the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her own father, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, and how it led to her drug addiction. Although Phillips admitted those closest to her didn't know about the sexual abuse, Bertinelli — who surprised Phillips during the interview — seemed to feel guilty for not helping her co-star through those difficult times. "I had no idea what you've been through," Bertinelli told Phillips, per TV Guide. "I feel regret that I wasn't there for you as much as I could have been. I was so wrapped up in my own life and my own, you know, drama of being in my life, because I've dealt with substance abuse. And so I wasn't paying attention to my sister, and I feel bad for that."

A 2021 interview with Healthy Women revealed that Phillips has been able to overcome addiction and pursue a new career path, despite everything she went through. "I made a shift in my career, and I went back to school and became a counselor and started working in the field of drug and alcohol and trauma treatment, ” she shared. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

She's helping her son deal with the loss of his father

Valerie Bertinelli's son, Wolfgang Van Halen, is taking care of his father's legacy. Wolfgang played as Van Halen's bassist in the early days of his career before starting his own band, Mammoth WVH. The rock band was nominated for a 2022 Grammy for their song "Distance," which pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen, per Variety. Wolfgang spoke with the publication about his reaction to seeing the song's music video for the first time. "I wanted to show what an amazing father he was, and not just the guitar player everyone thought," he said. "I remember the first time watching it with my girlfriend, I was sobbing so much I had to hand her the phone."

Luckily, Wolfgang seems to have a strong support system around him. Aside from his girlfriend, Bertinelli has been with him as well, and she shared they're mourning Eddie's death together. "We're doing okay. We spent the holidays together. I'll see him later today. We've been spending a lot of time together," she said in an interview on "Today." While they seem to have always had a close bond — Bertinelli's Instagram handle, @wolfiesmom, acknowledges how proud she is to be his mother — working through this hard time appears to have solidified their relationship even more.

Valerie Bertinelli deals with body shaming

Valerie Bertinelli has been very open about her battle with body image issues and her relationship with food. Despite her candidness about these struggles, however, internet trolls have been quick to take jabs at her physical appearance. Luckily, the TV icon is not afraid to put bullies in their place. She once posted an Instagram video calling out the users who made these insensitive comments and explained why rude commenters should be more sympathetic. "Because when you see somebody who has put some weight on, my first thought is, 'That person is obviously going through some things,'" Bertinelli said in the clip. She added that these insults are particularly hurtful to her, because she's been struggling with her relationship with weight for years. "But since I haven't been successful with that my whole entire life, at 61 I'm still dealing with [it]. You think I'm not tired of it, lady?" she asked. "Where's the compassion? ... Not f***ing helpful."

On "The Drew Barrymore Show," Bertinelli spoke about how she's taken on a new outlook for her body image, despite hateful comments and internal struggles. "My body is not what makes me lovable," she shared. "It's my heart and my mind, and how I treat you, and am I leading with kindness? Am I being respectful to another human being? Am I treating them the way I want to be treated?" The star seems to be rather resilient after enduring years of public scrutiny.

The Hot in Cleveland star faced heartbreak yet again

After Valerie Bertinelli's divorce from her first husband, Eddie Van Halen, she was able to find love again with Tom Vitale. The two married in 2011 and remained together for 10 years, per People. There were perhaps signs of trouble from the start, however, as the couple had difficult relationship histories with past partners. Vitale told AARP: "Val and I were coming from a tough time and wanting to move on but didn't want to trust anyone." The businessman had just gone through a divorce and Bertinelli was still healing from her past with Van Halen when the two got together.

Although neither partner has spoken publicly about the reason for their split, People reported that Bertinelli listed "irreconcilable differences" as the cause for separation on legal documents. It is also worth mentioning that news of this separation came to light a year after Van Halen's passing. While it is disheartening to learn the actor's second attempt at marriage did not work out, it seems that there is at least no bad blood between her and Vitale. They are keeping the split lowkey and are adhering to their original prenuptial agreement, according to People.

She lost co-star and close friend Betty White

Betty White's death put millions in a somber mood — but Valerie Bertinelli was among those who were most impacted by the actor's death. The co-stars worked on the set of "Hot in Cleveland" together for years and became close throughout their time on the show. Bertinelli revealed in a "Today" interview that the time she spent with White off-camera was particularly memorable. "My favorite Betty memories are when the four of us — Betty and Jane [Leeves] and Wendy [Malick] and I — we would go out to dinner and we would just enjoy ourselves." It seems White knew all of the best eateries in town because Bertinelli also shared: "We would usually go to one of Betty's favorite restaurants and just [be] hanging out with the girls. It was relaxed and she's just so lovely and so funny and real. ... She's just one of the kindest people I've ever known."

The "Losing It" author also paid tribute to her beloved co-star with a heartfelt Instagram post. "Rest In Peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now," she wrote in the caption. Bertinelli later announced in another Instagram post that she had come together with the Food Network to re-air two episodes of "Valerie's Home Cooking" that featured White, Leeves, and Malick. "I'm so happy about this!" she wrote in part in the caption. This sweet sentiment shows just how much Bertinelli cared for her dear friend.