In a new memoir being published this month, Valerie Bertinelli opens up about her relationship with her late ex-husband Eddie Van Halen and shares what happened during his final moments.
People has shared an exclusive excerpt from the book, titled Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today, in which Bertinelli reveals that she and son Wolfgang — her and the Van Halen guitarist’s only child — had been visiting the cancer-stricken rock legend daily in the hospital until his death on October 6, 2020.
“‘I love you’ are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me,” the actress writes in the book, “and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing.” Bertinelli notes that’s Eddie’s second wife, Janie Liszewski, and his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, also were there.
Valerie and Eddie were married in 1981 and separated in 2001, eventually divorcing in 2007 — his drug and alcohol issues being a major factor — but Bertinelli writes that she and Van Halen grew closer again as he became seriously ill.
“I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him,” she explains. “I saw his pain.” She also admits, “I loved Ed more than I know how to explain. I loved his soul.”
Bertinelli reveals that around Thanksgiving 2019, Eddie privately gave her a gold pendant he’d bought while in Germany for cancer treatments.
“I hope you don’t think it’s weird…that I bought my ex-wife this gift and didn’t get my wife anything,” Valerie says Eddie told her with tears in his eyes. “I just love you.”
She notes, “He want[ed] me to know he messed up [during our marriage].”
Enough Already will be released on January 18.
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