Valerie Bertinelli on why her book got 'raw,' ‘vulnerable' about Eddie Van Halen: 'I wish he were still here'

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Valerie Bertinelli discussed her complicated relationship with ex-husband and rocker Eddie Van Halen prior to his death at age 65.  

The “Hot In Cleveland” actress appeared on the “Today” show Tuesday where she discussed writing about her life and her marriage in her new book “Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I am Today.” In it, she describes both the good and the bad days of her marriage to Van Halen as well as their reconciliation prior to his death in 2020.

Speaking to Hoda Kotb, an emotional Bertinelli explained that she didn’t set out to write about sad book about her grief. However, once she started putting pen to paper, she realized how vital it was to her life’s story.

“When I wrote it and when I did it, it was very cathartic to go through it. I didn’t intend to write a book that had all the grief in it. It was about joy,” she explained. “But if I left that part out, it wouldn’t show you the path to joy and how to find that even through the depths of the biggest grief you can feel.”

Valerie Bertinelli discussed her relationship with Eddie Van Halen in her new book "Enough Already." 
(Manny Hernandez/Getty Images)

She added: “I know a lot of people have been feeling that across the country and throughout he world, we’ve all dealt with a lot of grief in the last couple of years.”

The star said that she was aware while she was writing her memoir that things were getting “raw” and “vulnerable.” However, she had to acknowledge ot herself that those parts were also “honest and real.”

Although they both remarried, Kotb commended Bertinelli on finding her soulmate and lamented the fact that he passed away. To that, the actress replied that she believes there are more than one soulmate in her life, including her and Van Halen’s son, Wolf.

“I think soulmates, I think we have more than just one,” she explained. “I feel partly Wolfie is a soulmate of mine. When I think of soulmates, I think of souls that come here to experience this life on earth together again and to get through and get to a higher place.”

Valerie Bertinelli appeared on the "Today" show to discuss her new book.
( Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Despite remembering her ex fondly, Bertinelli admits that there were a lot of times throughout their relationship where they didn’t treat each other like soulmates. She goes into greater detail about that in her book, which was excerpted by People earlier this month. In it, she notes that it was difficult to see Van Halen fall into drugs and alcohol. She also states that they were very young when they fell in love, which led to some immaturity when it came to their relationship.

“I loved his soul deeply and we went through a lot of hell as well. We weren’t really good to each other at a lot of points in our lives because we met so young and were very immature,” she concluded during her interview on the “Today” show. I’m so happy we were able to come to a beautiful place by the end of his life… I wish he were still here.”

Van Halen wasn’t the only recently departed star in Bertinelli’s life that she honored on Tuesday. She was co-stars with the late Betty White for six seasons of the sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.” White died on Dec. 31, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday. When asked for a few words about her co-star, Bertinelli wasted no time in honoring the late star.

Valerie Bertinelli honored Betty White during her recent "Today" show interview. 
(Dominik Bindl/Getty Images  )

“She was magical. There’s no other way to explain that lovely woman,” she explained. “And she is the one the taught me so much about gratitude. Betty walked in gratitude and she was grateful for every moment of her life and everything that happened to her.”

She added: “She glowed, she was otherworldly. She was an angel here on Earth, for sure.” 

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