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Eddie Van Halen Was Married to Wife for 11 Years before His Death — Meet Janie Who He Wed Wearing Flip-Flops

Oyin Balogun
Feb 25, 2022
11:40 A.M.
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After a tumultuous first marriage, legendary Guitarist Eddie Van Halen met and married former stunt woman Janie Liszewski who remained with him until his death.

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Eddie Van Halen was born Edward Lodewijk Van Halen on January 26, 1955, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His family moved to California in the early 1960s, and while growing up in Pasadena, Eddie and his brother, Alex, took piano lessons, playing mostly improvised classical. 

In 1974 the pair hooked up with vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony to form the music group "Van Halen." They were discovered in a pub by Gene Simmons, who paid for their first recording session. The band rose to fame in 1978 when Eddie signed a deal with Warner Bros.

Picture of singer Eddie Van Halen at his home during Thanksgiving Holiday [left] Pictures of Eddie Van Halen and his wife, Jane [right] | Source: instagram.com/eddievanhalen || twitter.com/JanieVanHalen

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They subsequently released their album "Van Halen," which featured the hit single "Runnin 'With the Devil.'" The album went platinum within six months of its release. They became one of the most successful bands in history during the following year, and Eddie led them through this period.

The band released a series of commercially successful albums, which included 1979's "Van Halen II," and 1980's "Women and Children First," as well as 1981's "Fair Warning" and 1982's "Diver Down."

However, the talented Eddie battled with substance abuse issues away from the music scene. Let's take a look into his personal life. 

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Eddie Van Halen donates 75 electric guitars from his personal collection to The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, on January 9, 2012 in Studio City, California | Source: Getty Images

MARRIAGE WITH VALERIE BERTINELLI

Eddie and Valerie's romantic relationship started when the pair met for the first time backstage at a concert by his band "Van Halen." At the time, 20-year-old Valerie was quite famous for starring as innocent Barbara Cooper in "One Day at a Time."

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Not long after they started dating, the pair faced issues when Eddie was dragged into a paternity suit by a woman who claimed he was the father of her child. 

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli attend the film premiere of Colombia Pictures'' "America''s Sweethearts" July 17, 2001. | Source: Getty Images

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The Guitarist, however, denied sexual relations with the woman and said that whatever happened between them was not enough to get her pregnant. He also disclosed it was before he met Valerie. The paternity case was eventually thrown out of court.

In 1981 Eddie and Valerie exchanged marital vows at Grayhall Mansion in Beverly Hills, eight months after they met. At the time, Eddie had a reputation for being a heavy user of hard drugs like cocaine, and he was also always drunk.

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The Guitarist suffered from substance abuse throughout his career, and drinking was a trait he got from his father, Jan.

He occasionally recalled a moment in his childhood where he got bit on the hand by a German shepherd. Instead of taking him to the hospital, Jan gave him a cigarette and a shot of vodka and told him he would be fine. 

Eddie was so addicted to alcohol that when he played a guitar solo for Michael Jackson's "Beat It," he refused financial compensation and instead wanted a case of beer as compensation. 

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After they got acquainted, Valerie started to drink as much as Eddie, and the pair would be heavily drunk at the latter's concerts. 

He also reportedly regularly had cached lines of cocaine atop his amplifier during concerts and had a drug dealer who would travel to him from anywhere in the world.

The musician also enjoyed having groupies, and he and his band once hosted a pair of naked girls known as the Ketchup Queens, drenching them in cocaine. 

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Valerie joined him on his tours, and in an attempt to keep up with his lifestyle, she started using cocaine. The actress' use got out of control. She was getting so lean that her husband had to implore her to stop snorting and start eating. 

By 1984, Valerie was done with taking cocaine. She revealed that she did not like how it made her feel and its effect on her marriage.   

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In 1991 the pair became parents to son Wolfgang, but that did not stop their marital issues. Eddie still drank and used cocaine even though Valerie implored him not to.

Throughout the 1990s, their marriage slowly deteriorated. Eddie had a hip replacement surgery done and was diagnosed with tongue cancer. 

Afterward, the guitarist promised his wife he had stopped alcohol and drugs, and Valerie believed him until she found cocaine in his wallet. Eddie and Valerie finally separated in 2001, and their divorce was finalized five years later. 

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MEET HIS LAST LADY LOVE

Janie Liszewski was born in 1970 in Pennsylvania. She is popularly known for her work as a stunt woman with performing credits in movies like "From Dusk Till Dawn" in 1996 and "Mulholland Drive" and "Bubble Boy" in 2001.

She is a professional wrestler who wrestles under the name Lita Lamae. Janie worked as a professional wrestling manager. Janie is also the founder of a Los Angeles artist managing firm called High Profile Media. 

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The Pennsylvanian lost her mother in 2020. At the time, she eulogized her mother for being a fantastic person and positively affecting everyone she met during her lifetime. 

During mother's day in 2021, Janie disclosed it was hard to accept her mother was gone. Janie also revealed how much she missed her. After her mother's death, Janie sold her house and disclosed how emotional it was.

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The COVID-19 lockdown period was also pretty hard on Janie, who could only communicate with her dad, who was living in an assisted home, through the phone before she visited him in person.  

Janie is a ballroom dancer and the proud owner of a dance studio where she dances and works out. She also teaches kids. She currently works as a DJ alongside Louie Martínez. She is also the proud mother of a 15-year-old Pomeranian dog.   

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 11 YEARS OF PRIVATE MARRIAGE

Eddie met Janie when she was hired to be his publicist. Soon after, they began a romantic relationship, and the pair started dating.

On August 4, 2008, the Guitarist proposed to Janie in a private room at Tiffany's. It was later revealed that the pair were planning to tie the knot the next June officially. 

Eddie Van Halen and wife Janie Liszewski at John Varvatos 10th Annual Stuart House Benefit in 2013 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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As planned, after three years of dating, the couple exchanged marital vows in June 2009 at the musician's seven-acre estate in the hills of California. 

Eddie's 18-year-old son Wolfgang served as the ring bearer at the occasion while the Guitarist's brother Alex Van Halen, an ordained minister, officiated the 20-minute service.

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At the event, Janie donned a champagne and pink custom-designed Hanna Hartnell gown with matching Bulgari earrings and bracelets while her husband Eddie dressed casually in Sy Devore cotton pants, un-tucked buttoned-down shirts, and flip-flop sandals. 

The pair also designed the rings, with Janie's being a platinum band coupled with a nearly three-carat diamond engagement ring, while Eddie had a gold band with yellow diamonds.

Janie Liszewski and Eddie Van Halen at the George Lopez Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration Party on April 30, 2017, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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Janie's sister served as the maid of honor, and also present at the ceremony was Eddie's former wife, Valerie. In June 2017, the pair celebrated eight years of marriage by posting a picture of themselves at the beach and a second image inscribing the figure 8 enclosed in love on the sands. Eddie captioned the snap: 

"Enjoying our 8th wedding anniversary at the beach."

Janie has a close relationship with her dance partner Louie Martínez, and because her relationship with Eddie is private, people get confused about who her husband is. Later, the former stunt woman had to clarify this with a post on her Twitter page. 

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EDDIE VAN HALEN’S DEATH

After a long battle with throat cancer, Eddie Van Halen, aged 65, sadly died on October 6, 2020. Soon after his death, his son Wolfgang confirmed the news on his Twitter page.

Wolfgang disclosed he could not believe his father lost his battle with cancer and that Eddie was the best father he could ever have asked for.

Eddie Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen of Van Halen perform during "A Different Kind of Truth" tour at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2012 | Source: Getty Images.

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He subsequently declared every moment they shared was a gift and that his heart was broken as he might never fully recover from the loss. 

After his death, ex-wife Valerie revealed she was beside him when he died, and the last word was that he loved her and their son Wolfgang.

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She revealed that while he was undergoing cancer treatment in Germany, the musician bought her a gold bar he presented to her during Thanksgiving Day in 2019.

Meanwhile, wife Janie posted on her Twitter how the death of her husband affected her. The lovebirds who referred to each other as "Peep" and "Poopee" had been married for over a decade. She wrote

“My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces. I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness...”

 

Janie, who also had a cancer scare just a year before her husband's death, was thankfully cleared after discovering that the abnormal modules on her thyroid were not cancerous. 

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