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In her just-published memoir, Enough Already, Valerie Bertinelli reveals to her fans the sweet moment that took place between her and ex-husband, rock star Eddie Van Halen, a year before his death in Oct. 2020.

It was Thanksgiving 2019 and it happened in George Lopez’s car.

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli in 1983.
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Lopez was one of Van Halen’s closest friends

Bertinelli set the scene in her memoir of the Thanksgiving dinner she hosted at her California home in 2019.

“I can’t remember the last time [Eddie Van Halen] joined the usual roundup of family and close friends for this annual November feast, but he gladly accepted the invitation and was chauffeured over by his friend and golfing buddy George Lopez,” Bertinelli wrote. “The two of them are unlikely besties who bonded years earlier over their mutually masochistic enjoyment of playing 18 holes of golf.”

Actor George Lopez and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen in 2017.
George Lopez and Eddie Van Halen | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Van Halen made sure Bertinelli knew he still loved her

As the former One Day at a Time star revealed, although the pair had been divorced for over a decade, their affection for one another had not faded.

“Every time we saw each other, we made it a point to say I love you,” she said. It was especially important to her, she added, given that Van Halen was in treatment for cancer. And so, when her ex-husband asked to chat alone with her, Bertinelli assumed it was for this reason. She was half right: “I figure that this is what Ed wants to tell me when he pulls me aside after dessert, and says, ‘Hey, can I talk to you privately?'”

With Bertinelli’s home bursting with guests including her son “Wolfie and his longtime girlfriend, Andraia; my brother Patrick and his wife, Stacy; and several others, including Matt Bruck, Ed’s longtime right-hand man, and Matt’s mother,” the two decide to chat in Lopez’s car.

“Ed sits in the driver’s seat,” she writes. “I slide in the passenger’s side, eager to get out of the chilly night air.”


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Eddie Van Halen’s extravagant gesture for his ex-wife

“Ed hands me a small bag and tells me to open it,” Bertinelli said. “It’s light. I open the smooth black box; inside is a small pendant-size bar of pure gold. I have never seen anything like this. It is mostly plain, but it has a small design on it that I assume was made by a mold. There’s beauty in its simplicity and purity.”

Bertinelli revealed that her ex, with whom she’d been married over two decades, explained that he’d seen the bar of gold in Germany, where he’d been receiving cancer treatments, and immediately thought of her.

“‘I hope you don’t think it’s weird,’ he says. ‘You know, that I bought my ex-wife this gift and I didn’t get my wife anything. I just love you.'”

The two sat in the car for “nearly an hour … inches apart,” opening their “hearts to each other, sharing our feelings about each other from the start of our relationship to the present. He wants me to know that he messed up and that it is too bad.”

The former Hot in Cleveland star admitted to her share in contributing to “their troubles” and apologized. The pair, Bertinelli said, laughed together, wept together, confessing failures and fears.

In the end, she said, “Nothing is left between us but love, and Ed’s smile.”

Valerie Bertinelli’s ‘Enough Already’ is available wherever books are sold.