For years, actor Valerie Bertinelli has cultivated a squeaky-clean image, partly due to her teenage role in the long-running sitcom One Day at a Time. But in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired on February 25, the former Barbara Jean Cooper fessed up about her role in her divorce from rock legend Eddie Van Halen.
“I wasn’t an angel, either,” Bertinelli told Oprah in the candid interview. “I cheated too… He claims to this day that I cheated first, but I don’t know. I don’t know about the timing.” The actor, 47, also admitted that she struggled with cocaine addiction during the marriage and also overate as the union fell apart.
The Van Halen guitarist, 52, and Bertinelli were married for 20 years before their separation in October 2001. However, Bertinelli didn’t file for divorce until December 2005, and the dissolution was finally official last December 20.
Bertinelli said that drug use was part of the lifestyle she experienced in her relationship with Van Halen. “It got to a point where whenever I heard the birds chirp, I’d be like, “Oh, God, no,'” she explained on Oprah’s show. “It took me years after stopping the cocaine before I was able to enjoy a sunrise and enjoy the sound of birds.” She also discussed the body-image issues she has been dealing with since childhood and how she gained weight from comfort food during the unraveling of her marriage.
The former spouses share custody of their 16-year-old son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who plays several musical instruments and is touring as a bass guitarist with his father’s band.
Bertinelli starred on One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984. She is currently a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program, alongside Kirstie Alley, and claims to have lost 40 pounds as of January. She is also promoting her new autobiography, Losing It… And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time.
For a private investigator’s list of warning signs of infidelity, click here.
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