Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen's Troubled Marriage of Addiction and Infidelity
America’s favorite girl next door on the hit television show, “One Day at a Time” became the envy of many girls when she married the rock legend, Eddie Van Halen. But the union between Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli ended as rocky as it began.
The pair met in August 1980 when Van Halen played in Valerie’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Valerie used her connections to get a backstage pass at the concert, and when they first laid eyes on each other, the chemistry had them “stammering and blushing.”
In his book, “Runnin’ with the Devil,” Van Halen’s band manager Noel E. Monk noted their nervous interaction as “a sign of genuine chemistry.” But their newfound bliss didn’t last despite having decided to get married with the date set for April 11, 1981.
Three months into their relationship, a groupie claimed to be pregnant with his child and slapped him with a paternity lawsuit, which after a DNA test showed him not to be the father.
Their troubles continued when Eddie started using cocaine on top of his daily use of alcohol and weed in the months that led up to their wedding.
Despite having agreed to “stay as straight” as he could on his wedding day, Eddie got so intoxicated after the ceremony that he almost didn’t make it to the reception.
21-years-old at the time, Valerie held Eddie’s hair as he doubled over the toilet bowl in pain but managed between her own tears, to get him sober enough to attend his wedding reception.
"She coaxed Edward to his feet, cleaned him up, straightened his tie, and helped him comb his hair. In her eyes, I saw not disappointment but compassion and love. They emerged from the bathroom hand in hand and made a glorious entrance into the grand ballroom, where a crowd of family and friends and an assortment of Hollywood stars burst into applause," Monk wrote.
After they wed Valerie tried to keep up with Eddie’s rocker lifestyle, but with the demands of her acting career, it did more harm than good.
"The week off I would destroy my body trying to stay up with him," Valerie told Oprah. "It got to a point whenever I heard the birds chirp, it was, ‘Oh, God, no.' It took me years after stopping the cocaine before I could enjoy the sunrise and enjoy the sound of birds."
Their busy working schedules also contributed to their crumbling relationship as she added, "He had his responsibilities of what he had to do, and I had my responsibilities. And we thought if you just live in the same house, there would be a connection, but no."
Infidelity by both parties didn’t help their relationship either, and they separated ten years after the birth of their son, Wolfgang in 2001, and finalized their divorce in 2007.
When their marriage became a lost cause, Valerie consoled herself with food. After a lifelong battle with her weight, Valerie published a book, “Losing It” wherein she detailed the things she had lost and gained in her life.
"I've lost my shame," Valerie said. "I've lost 40 pounds. But I don't know that it was the 40 pounds that kept me shameful. I was ashamed of myself, and that's why I gained 40 pounds."
The same year as their divorce, Wolfgang joined his father’s band as the replacement for the bassist Michael Anthony. However, Valerie had no fears that her son might fall into bad rock star habits as she told PEOPLE, “His father will be with him the entire time. I’ll be out there a lot. Ed is the best father Wolfie could have. It’s all going to be just fine.”
Wolfgang had since grown up, and while he continued in his father’s band, he also started working on a debut solo album in 2015.