Valerie Bertinelli has gone public with her memories of Eddie Van Halen‘s final moments.
In the new book Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today, the actress says her ex-husband was surrounded by loved ones – including their son Wolfgang, Van Halen’s wife Janie and his brother Alex – in the last days of his cancer battle.
“‘I love you’ are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me, and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing,” Bertinelli recalls in an exclusive People excerpt, which also reveals what she told Van Halen near the end of his life: “Maybe next time. Maybe next time we’ll get it right.”
Bertinelli and Van Halen got married in 1981; future Van Halen bassist and Mammoth WVH frontman Wolfgang was born a decade later. The couple separated in 2001 and had their divorce finalized in 2007, partly as a result of Van Halen’s struggles with substance abuse. “I hated the drugs and alcohol, but I never hated him,” Bertinelli explains in the new book. “I saw his pain.”
Van Halen died on Oct. 6, 2020, at age 65 after what his son called a “long and arduous” battle with cancer.
“I can’t explain the feelings Ed and I had for each other,” said Bertinelli, who filed for divorce from second husband Tom Vitale in November 2021. She also ponders the possibility that she and Van Halen might have gotten back together had he lived. “Who really knows, had he not died. I doubt it. I loved him more than I know how to explain, and there’s nothing sexual about it. It was more than that. …There is no greater love than what we had between the two of us, and with that we made this beautiful son.”
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