Eddie Van Halen had the "most generous heart" despite years of pain

Publish Date
Wednesday, 2 February 2022, 2:58PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

Valerie Bertinelli elaborated on her long, complex but loving relationship with her ex-husband Eddie Van Halen in a new interview.

Despite the couple's 2002 split and eventual divorce in 2007, they remained close friends and co-parents to their son, Wolfgang Van Halen, until Eddie's death in October of 2020.

"We kept our connection. There was a few years, right after I moved out, that he was a little angry at me, but we always made an effort to stay in touch, to stay connected," Bertinelli said in a radio interview. "Especially as Wolfie grew up, we wanted to co-parent as well as we could together. And I'm very grateful that, near the end of his life, we were able to come to an understanding of how sorry we were, we were able to atone for all of the regrets we had for how we treated each other and to come back to the love we originally shared for one another."

A constant source of friction, of course, was the role drugs and alcohol had in their relationship. Bertinelli had her own struggles, to be sure, but Eddie's drug issues dogged him well into middle age.

"I mean, there were some crazy times — yes, because there was drugs and alcohol; I mean, the '80s were crazy — but when you get down to it, Ed had the most generous heart," Bertinelli continued. "He was so kind. He just didn't know how to be that way with himself because he was in so much pain and he dealt with his pain through drugs and alcohol. And I was too young to really be as compassionate as I could have been back then."

Eddie finally got sober in 2008, and his relationship with his family drastically improved. The guitar innovator was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and passed away two years later at a Los Angeles hospital surrounded by family and close friends.

The actress and author is out promoting her new book, 'Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today'.

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission