Valerie Bertinelli was married to Eddie Van Halen from 1981 until 2007. The couple — who shared son Wolf – were able to remain amicable after their divorce up until Van Halen’s death on Oct. 6, 2020, despite the intense conflict that contributed to their split. According to AARP, in 2001, Van Halen boarded a plane with their son while carrying cocaine on his person. Shortly thereafter, the couple separated and their divorce was finalized in 2007.
Bertinelli — who played Barbara on the sitcom One Day at a Time – thought that she was done with love after her split from Van Halen. “After Ed and I separated, I thought, ‘I’ll finish raising my son, and I’ll go away, have about 40 cats, and just get nice and fat,'” Bertinelli told AARP in 2010. “I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life, because I didn’t want the responsibility. Relationships are too hard.”
But life has a sense of humor and, according to the outlet, Bertinelli met Tom Vitale, who runs a private equity fund, in 2004, and their unexpected romance had a profound impact on her. Bertinelli told AARP that Vitale contributed to “breaking her open” and their love has been thriving ever since.
Tom Vitale influenced Valerie Bertinelli's Food Network career
Valerie Bertinelli married Tom Vitale in 2011, according to Closer Weekly, and it was through Vitale that Bertinelli got back in touch with her Italian roots. Vitale, who is of Sicilian heritage, encouraged his wife to return to Italy in order to, as Bertinelli said, “find [her] roots and [her] husband’s roots,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bertinelli added, “Tom’s really opened my eyes to exploring ways to cook in the kitchen. He has different tastes.”
This journey had quite an impact on Bertinelli’s career, as she landed a cooking show on the Food Network in 2015 called Valerie’s Home Cooking, so she found love, pasta, and a great slot on TV! Talk about a home run.
On a personal level, Vitale has deeply influenced Bertinelli’s personal relationship with food and body image. She told AARP that in 2004, when she met Vitale, she was 5’4″ and weighed 162 pounds and later went up to 172 pounds. She then joined Jenny Craig in a public weight loss journey. However, Bertinelli’s size had no impact whatsoever on her relationship with Vitale. “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.”
The couple clearly lift each other up and help each other thrive, as Bertinelli told the outlet: “I believe that I’m worth having a beautiful, blessed life. Every day, I thank God for it.”
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