Hollywood veteran star Valerie Bertinelli is finally moving on as she intends to end her decade-long marriage with her estranged husband, Tom Vitale. Despite loving his estranged wife wholeheartedly, Vitale is still not considered a "soul mate" by Bertinelli, but another man is.
Celebrated actress Valerie Bertinelli has filed for divorce from her husband of ten years, Tom Vitale. When she married him, Bertinelli was fresh from her divorce from 26-year spouse Eddie Van Halen and was going through a difficult time.
She and the rocker married in 1981, and their union ended when she learned that he had boarded an airplane with their young son Wolf carrying a substance in his wallet.
Actress Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale pictured upon arrival at The 30th Anniversary Carousel Of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 25, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. / Source: Getty Images
The former couple divorced in 2007, and after that, Bertinelli convinced herself that she would never fall in love again and would focus on raising her son:
"I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life because I didn't want the responsibility. Relationships are too hard."
Though she has no idea when she eventually decided to take charge of her life after the divorce, Bertinelli's newfound romance with Vitale helped her pull herself up again, and she came back better than ever.
A dear friend of hers, celebrity chef Rachel Ray, said the "Hot in Cleveland" alum is a strong woman who "pulled herself up from a tough place and came back swinging."
Bertinelli credits Vitale's presence in her life for "breaking her open" but states that she was open to new love by then. She added if that were not the case, they would not have ended up together, saying:
"If my life wasn't starting to turn around, I couldn't have welcomed him into it."
BERTINELLI MET VITALE THROUGH HER BROTHER PATRICK
Financial planner Tom Vitale and his wife Valerie Bertinelli during the "Ratatouille" Los Angeles premiere. / Source: Getty Images
Bertinelli was introduced to her future spouse, Vitale, by her brother, Patrick, in 2004 when she was visiting her parents, who reside in Arizona.
Like her, Vitale was also recently divorced, and she explained that both of them were keen on moving on but were reluctant to trust anyone else.
The pair initially bonded over their similar heritages. Bertinelli's father is Italian, while Vitale's dad is Italian-Sicilian. "We understood each other completely. My family is her family. It wasn't love at first sight. It was family at first sight," Vitale revealed.
The couple dated for six years before Vitale decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Bertinelli. The duo had just returned from their ten-day stay in Italy, where on a romantic evening in Florence, Vitale surprised his future wife with a marriage proposal.
The two-time Emmy Award winner shared that she and her partner had discussed marriage before, but she was stunned when he ultimately asked her to marry him:
"We'd talked about getting married, but I was still shocked. It was sweet when he asked me because he was so scared. I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'"
Vitale proposed to the brunette beauty in March 2010 in Italy. On January 1, 2011, the lovebirds tied the knot at their home in Malibu.
More than a hundred guests attended the wedding ceremony, including Bertinelli's former husband and Dutch-American-born musician, Van Halen.
VITALE LOVED BERTINELLI NO MATTER WHAT
Tom Vitale and Valerie Bertinelli attending TV Land Hosts a Premiere Party and Screening of "Hot in Cleveland" at Crosby Street Hotel on June 14, 2010 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
When Vitale met the "Sydney" star, Bertinelli weighed 162 pounds. By early 2007, she weighed 172 pounds and launched a public weight-loss campaign with the Jenny Craig company.
Consequently, the "Losing It" author shed 40 pounds from the program and has maintained the weight loss over the years by frequently exercising. Bertinelli later revealed that her weight was never a factor in her relationship with Vitale, who embraced her every being:
"I’ve never felt more beautiful at any weight than when Tom looks at me. He loved me no matter what. In his way, he's teaching me to love myself just as I am."
But the weight put a strain on her body, and in early 2006, she started complaining of knee pain and was constantly out of breath. Luckily, Craig contacted her, and Bertinelli signed with the weight-loss company again and dropped 130 pounds.
In maintaining the loss, the two-time Golden Globe Award winner walked for exercise but realized that she had to work twice as hard if she wanted to be in an even better shape.
She hired a personal trainer in 2008 to achieve that goal. Bertinelli later completed half a marathon in Sonoma in 2 hours, 13 minutes. She even defeated Vitale by 8 minutes.
GETTING TO KNOW BERTINELLI'S NOW-ESTRANGED HUSBAND VITALE
Vitale is a financial planner, a television producer, and an entrepreneur. The internet personality is the CEO of an e-commerce company called Veebow, which he launched in 2011.
The company's primary mission is "making business processes easy for both retail merchants and franchises." Vitale also works as a producer and co-producer in numerous films.
A proud father of four children, he and his oldest child, son Tony, moved into Bertinelli's Malibu beachfront house in 2005. Vitale's three younger kids often visit him.
In August 2010, their stepmother confessed to AARP The Magazine that having a blended family is not an easy feat, and she could not wait for all of them to become grownups:
"It's not easy. I'm looking forward to being an empty nester."
Bertinelli's estranged husband was an ordained minister and helped the Catholic-raised Hollywood star tap into her spiritual realm. "I believe in the whole karma thing, sowing, and reaping," said Vitale.
He added that as a couple, they plant good things daily. With that said, Bertinelli made peace with her late ex-husband, who received help from rehab and redeemed himself. She revealed that Van Halen became a "terrific dad" to their son Wolf.
Bertinelli even allowed her then-nineteen-year-old child, a musician, to go on tour with his father in 2007. She and Vitale later attended Van Halen's wedding in 2009 to stunt woman Janie Liszewski.
BERTINELLI AND VITALE'S SEPARATION AND THE SHOCKING DIVORCE FILING
When Bertinelli married Vitale, she told People that she could have spent the rest of her life with him without being husband and wife, "but I wanted to call him 'my husband.'" The mom of one added she wanted to share how she felt about Vitale with those she loved.
Despite what seemed like a perfect marriage for Bertinelli and Vitale, she filed for legal separation from him in November 2021. Six months later, in May 2022, the Delaware native filed for divorce from the businessman at a Los Angeles Superior Court.
People reported that Bertinelli cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the dissolution of their marriage of ten years. Court documents state the pair have a premarital agreement to which they must adhere.
Over the years, the Food Network host has been open about her undying love for her "soul mate," Van Halen, who died from lung cancer in October 2020 at age 65.
However, Bertinelli assured everyone that her decision to separate from Vitale had nothing to do with her unique history with the rock musician.
"We grew apart. The decision has nothing to do with my love for Ed. I wish Tom the best, and I know he feels the same way about me," she told People in January 2022.
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