Valerie Bertinelli Honors Ex-Husband Eddie Van Halen’s “Gorgeous Spirit” in Emotional Tribute

Nicol Natale
·3 mins read
Photo credit: Ann Clifford - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ann Clifford - Getty Images

From Prevention

  • Valerie Bertinelli shared an emotional tribute in honor of her late ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen.

  • The legendary guitarist died following a long cancer battle at 65.

  • The two married in 1981 and divorced in 2007, but they remained close friends and she was with him during his last moments.

After the devastating news of Eddie Van Halen’s death, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli has honored the legendary guitarist on Instagram. Valerie, who married Eddie in 1981 and welcomed son Wolfgang with him, shared a throwback photo of their family.

Although the couple divorced in 2007, Valerie opened up in the caption about how much Eddie meant to her, and she revealed she had been with him during his last moments.

“Forty 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. “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.”

Wolfgang commented on the post, “Love you, Ma.”

News of his death surfaced on Tuesday, after Wolfgang tweeted that his father had lost his battle with cancer. Eddie battled tongue, throat, and lung cancer throughout his life.

“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,” Wolfgang 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.”

Valerie commented to the post with a line of broken hearts.

Valerie and Eddie met in 1980 after her brothers asked her to come to one of his concerts to help them get backstage. “I took a look at the 8-track cassette that was in the back of my Corvette, and I saw a picture of Ed, and I went, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll be going. He’s a cutie,’” she told Oprah Winfrey in 2008.

After meeting, the two immediately hit it off. “You had to peel me off the floor,” she said. A few days later, Eddie called Valerie to go out on a date. “So I went out and visited, and we never separated from then on,” she said.

The couple married in 1981 and welcomed son Wolfgang ten years later. A guitarist like his dad, Wolfgang went on tour with his father in the early 2000s.

Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images

Throughout their marriage, Valerie admitted the coupled struggle with drugs and infidelity. “Yes, I did, four years into our marriage, cheat,” Valerie admitted 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.”

Eventually, the couple divorced 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. However, they remained great friends, and even went to each other’s weddings with their new partners. (Valerie married Tom Vitale in 2011.)

They’d been in each other’s lives for four decades, and were together up until the end of Eddie’s life. It’s clear that he meant the world to her and their family.

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