Eddie Van Halen’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli said she’s been accused of being the “Yoko Ono of Van Halen” but that she didn’t cause the split with David Lee Roth in the ‘80s. But she claimed the singer never liked her, and she was never been able to work out why.
Roth left the band in 1985, four years after Van Halen and Bertinelli married. The couple split in 2002 and divorced in 2007 but remained connected because of their son Wolfgang. Both she and Wolfgang were at Van Halen’s side when he died in 2020.
“After Ed and I became involved, all of a sudden there was this rule that there was no girlfriends and no wives allowed on the road,” she told actor Rob Lowe in a new episode of his Literally! podcast. “I got along great with Al [ Van Halen] and with Mike [Anthony].” Noting that there was an issue with “someone else,” apparently meaning Roth, she said: “I don’t know why he didn’t like me, but what are you gonna do? … I mean, I was always nice to him. I honestly don’t know.”
You can listen to the interview below.
“One day I’d like to sit down with him and go, ‘Dude, what did I do? Honestly, I’ve always been a fan of yours. I think you’re a brilliant frontman. I think you’re a brilliant songwriter. I love your lyrics. Why don’t you like me? What did I do?'” Bertinelli added.
Lowe asked if she was “the Yoko Ono of Van Halen,” referring to the long-held but now discounted suggestion that John Lennon’s wife was instrumental in the Beatles’ split. “Well, I have been accused of that, even though Yoko didn’t break up the Beatles,” Bertinelli said. “And I certainly didn’t break up Van Halen.”
Van Halen Lineup Changes
Three different singers and two different bassists joined the Van Halen brothers over the years.