Valerie Bertinelli is a well-known actress, author, and television personality who first gained fame in the 1970s for her role on the hit TV show “One Day at a Time”. Since then, she has enjoyed a successful career in television, film, and as a spokesperson for numerous brands. However, her personal life has also been a topic of interest to fans over the years.
Bertinelli has been married twice, first to musician Eddie Van Halen, with whom she had a son, and later to financial planner Tom Vitale. In recent years, Bertinelli has come clean about her past struggles with drug abuse and infidelity. She has also been open about her personal battles with weight and negative body image, and has written several books on the subject, including the bestselling “Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time”.
Despite the ups and downs in her personal life, Bertinelli has remained a beloved figure in the entertainment industry and a source of inspiration to many fans who appreciate her honesty and down-to-earth personality. In this video, we will take a closer look at Valerie Bertinelli’s career and love life, while doing a deep dive specifically into her first marriage with Van Halen and it’s tumultuous end.
Facts Verse Presents: Valerie Bertinelli Admits That She Cheated on Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Comes Clean
While she was once known as the squeaky-clean and innocent character Barbara Cooper on the daytime soap One Day At a Time, Valerie Bertinelli’s personal life, as we’ve already touched on briefly in the intro, has been marred with tragedy, affliction, and lies.
Bertinelli’s story is one that includes such sensitive topics as drug abuse, infidelity, and severe body image issues, so if any of those things bother you, you might want to prepare yourself for what you’re about to hear.
After years of staying silent on these matters, the former spokeswoman for Jenny Craig finally opened up and came clean about her past struggles in her 2008 memoir Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time.
Around the time that her memoir first hit bookshelves in the late 2000s, Bertinelli did an interview with TODAY and explained what the book was all about and what challenging topics it covered. She told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira that the book was really all about what had happened to her in the past, the choices that she made for better and worse, and how it changed her and led her to take the needed steps to rise above her inner demons and vices.
She went on to tell Vieira that she felt like she had been hiding ‘under a facade for so long’, but when Jenny Craig contacted her and proposed her becoming their newest spokesperson, she felt as if it was finally time to open up and reveal the sordid details of what she had been through.
Sex, Drugs, and Lies
In Losing It, Bertinelli admitted to trying cocaine for the first time when was a teenager with her One Day At A Time co-star Mackenzie Phillips, but she didn’t really dive headlong into the drug scene until after getting together with rocker Eddie Van Halen.
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen’s marriage was a high-profile relationship that captured the public’s attention during the 1980s. The two first met in 1980 at a Van Halen concert, where Bertinelli, then a 20-year-old rising star on “One Day at a Time”, caught the eye of the legendary rock guitarist.
The couple married in 1981, just eight months after they started dating, and went on to have a son, Wolfgang, who would also become a musician.
While their marriage wasn’t entirely fruitless, as at least it produced Wolfgang, it was particularly turbulent for both parties. Bertinelli confessed that drugs were a major part of their relationship right out of the gate. In fact, while the couple was filling out a questionnaire provided to them by the priest that had been tapped to perform their marriage ceremony, both Valerie and Eddie each clutched a little vial of cocaine, while repeatedly sampling it’s contents.
Valerie told Vieira that drugs were more of a means for her to fit into the Rock ‘n’ roll scene, but on top of that, she also discovered that they could be quite useful in controlling her weight. Sure, they offered fleeting moments of empty pleasure, but for years Valerie had struggled with food and diet. This led to her developing severe issues relating to her self-image and eating habits. After realizing that coke would cut her food cravings, she felt as if she had finally found a viable solution to her long-term woes. Unfortunately, this so-called solution would end up becoming a problem that was equal, if not greater, in magnitude to anything else that she had struggled with up until that point.
Although addiction and rampant hedonism were two major issues in her and Van Halen’s marriage, Bertinelli now freely admits that another issue that caused them a great deal of pain and strife was infidelity.
Both Valerie and Eddie cheated on each other. In fact, Bertinelli claims that she was the one who first engaged in an extramarital affair shortly after the two tied the knot. That said, Van Halen also claimed that he was in fact the first one to be unfaithful. Regardless, however, of who cheated first (as if that actually even matters), as anyone who has ever lived through the horrors of infidelity knows, it causes irreparable harm to a marriage, completely eroding any notion of trust.
Bertinelli admitted that she cheated on Eddie four years into their marriage. She further claims that the guilt and shame that cheating resulted in left her with a weight that she was forced to carry for a very long time. This guilt, remorse, and deep sense of sadness was something that ate her up inside. It no doubt left her feeling as if she was trapped at the bottom of a deep, dark, cold well with no perceivable way of climbing out.
9-11 Exacerbated Bertinelli’s Turmoil
While from the outside looking in, Van Halen and Bertinelli’s marriage appeared to be a happy and loving one, both parties knew that their relationship was all-but doomed from the start. You can’t possibly expect to get that ‘happily ever after’ that everyone is always going on about if both members of a marriage are actively sleeping around and indulging in ungodly amounts of illicit substances. Life simply doesn’t work that way.
After living a rollercoaster of ups and downs for two decades, replete with drama, scandal, and unfaithfulness, Bertinelli and Van Halen finally separated and went their separate ways in 2001. Their divorce was finalized six years later, in 2007.
The same year that the couple broke up, America was thrown into it’s own nationwide turmoil following the events that transpired on September 11, 2001. To Valerie, 9-11 was a major wake-up call. The world suddenly felt far less safe than it had been since the Cold War, and that resulted in her coming to the conclusion that she needed to start treating herself and those that she loved with more dignity and respect. She felt a tremendous amount of guilt over how she had treated Eddie and knew also that the life that she had been living for decades wasn’t exactly the most conducive for her son Wolfgang’s well-being.
At the same time, Valerie witnessed how stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan’s lives, complete with all of their indiscretions, were being splashed across the pages of all of the gossip rags and broadcasted throughout the Western world on TV and on the still-young and infantile internet. After witnessing all of that, she began to wonder how she had managed to hide her own inner demons and vices from the public for so long.
At first, she assumed that she must have just been better at hiding her problems, as any partying that she would ever do was always at home and never out in the spotlight. She realized years ago that the best way to get away from the paparazzi was to not go out in public and cause a scene every five minutes.
Still, even though she had gotten lucky and figured out a way of not letting unscrupulous third parties run her name through the mud, Valerie eventually arrived at the conclusion that the only way that she was going to heal from all of the trauma she had both put herself through and experienced unwillingly was to air out her dirty laundry so-to-speak voluntarily. In fact, it was that rationale that led her to finally, after so many years of heartbreak and misery, open up about her past and admit to her various misdeeds.
She Denies Her Wight Gain Was A Product Of Her Divorce
After divorcing Eddie Van Halen, Bertinelli’s fans noticed that she began to pack on quite a bit of “excess baggage”. While there is nothing wrong with weight gain, and we’re not trying to shame anyone for the shape and size of their body, Valerie’s very public battle with weight loss has been something that has caused her great sorrow and strife throughout her life.
Despite what many concluded, she says that her weight gain had nothing to do with her divorce, although it was directly tied to the grief she had been experiencing for many years. In order to soothe her sorrows, Valerie admits that she often turned to food for solace.
Fortunately, after struggling with diet and exercise for decades, Bertinelli now seems to be a lot healthier and happier. Undoubtedly, letting go of the past, owning up to her mistakes, and focusing on what really matters, primarily her family and interpersonal relationships, Valerie has managed to free herself of the ties that bound her to pain and misery for many a decade.
She Remarried in 2011
Bertinelli announced her engagement with financial planner Tom Vitale in May 2010. The couple had been together since 2004 after Bertinelli’s brother Patrick introduced them and ended up exchanging vows on January 1, 2011, in Malibu. Through that marriage, Bertinelli became the stepmother to four children.
Interestingly, Eddie Van Halen and her son Wolfgang attended that wedding. Although Valerie and Tom seemed to have a happy enough time together for the better part of two decades, they ended up filing for legal separation on November 24, 2021, citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce was finalized on November 22, 2022.
Shortly after filing for that separation, Bertinelli shared in her latest memoir Enough Already that the pandemic made her see the fissures in her marriage.
Valerie Bertinelli has lived a fascinating and successful life, marked by her accomplishments in the entertainment industry and her personal struggles with addiction, weight, and failed relationships. From her breakthrough role on “One Day at a Time” in the 1970s to her work as a spokesperson and author in recent years, Bertinelli has made a lasting impact on popular culture.
While her two marriages to Eddie Van Halen and Tom Vitale ended in divorce, Bertinelli has shown strength and resilience in the face of personal challenges. She has been open about her struggles with drugs and weight loss, and has used her experiences to inspire others and raise awareness about these issues.
Despite the ups and downs in her life, Bertinelli remains a beloved and enduring figure in the entertainment industry. Her talent, honesty, and down-to-earth personality have won her many fans, and her legacy as an actress, author, and advocate for mental health and wellness will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations.
Now that you’ve heard what we have to share, we’d love to hear from you. Did you know that Valerie Bertinelli struggled with substance abuse and that she claimed to have been the first one to cheat in her marriage with Eddie Van Halen? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for watching.