If Valerie Bertinelli could go back in time, she’d spend more time with her ex-husband and “soul mate” Eddie Van Halen during his last days.
“I just—I wish that I hadn’t been so nervous to go over there a lot during the last year of his life,” she told Extra in an exclusive interview. “He was alone in that big house and I wish that I had gone over there more to be with him. And I know we tried and we tried, but with COVID, it made it more challenging, and that’s my biggest regret that I didn’t spend more time with him because he was lonely.”
Bertinelli and Van Halen were married for 26 years before splitting over “irreconcilable differences.” The couple was known for having a classic good-girl bad boy romance. But Van Halen battled both addiction and cancer, and those experiences put a major strain on their relationship.
The couple separated in 2001. And after six years of trying to work it out while living apart, they filed for divorce. The two, however, remained close friends. And Valeri Bertinelli admitted that she never stopped loving her rock star ex.
“I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain.” She added, “I loved Ed more than I know how to explain.”
Valerie Bertinelli on Her Last Words with Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen died on October 6th, 2020, after his cancer resurfaced. And though Bertinelli wishes she had supported him more during the last year of his life, she and their son Wolf Van Halen were with him during his final conscious moments.
However, when she left that day, she never guessed it would be the last time she’d look him in the eyes.
“I didn’t know those would be my last words to him,” the actress continued. “After we told each other we love each other and we’re holding him, we said, ‘We’ll see you tomorrow,’ and tomorrow never came because he had a massive stroke that night. He never woke up from that, and a couple days later, he was gone.”
Bertinelli learned a hard lesson about life that day. Had she known she’d never be able to speak to Van Halen again, she would have said so much more. But instead, she thought the words could wait.
And Valeri Bertinelli hopes that everyone can learn from her mistake.
“That was really hard,” she continued. “And if I can give any small bit of wisdom to anybody, it’s to treat someone like you’re never going to see them again and let them know how you feel about them because you just don’t you just don’t know when, when is going to be the last time that you see them.”