After the legendary Van Halen co-founder and guitarist passed away at age 65 following a long battle with cancer, his ex-wife posted a sweet black-and-white family photo of the couple with their son, Wolfgang, as a newborn in the early 1990s.
In the caption to the photo shared to her Instagram page, the actress wrote that when she met her future husband 40 years ago, her life was forever changed. She thanked him for giving her their son, and she added that she was grateful to have been with him in his final moments of life. The Hot in Cleveland actress referred to her ex as “my love” in her heartbreaking post.
Valerie also posted a series of brokenheart emoji to Twitter in response to Wolfgang’s gut-wrenching post about his father’s death.
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40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love.
Valerie and Eddie were married from 1981 to 2007 and shared their one son, who is now 29. Despite a rocky ending to their marriage, they remained on good terms following the split.
The couple met in August 1980 when Valerie’s brothers invited her to a Van Halen concert with the hopes she could get them backstage.
“I took a look at the 8-track cassette that was in the back of my Corvette… and I saw a picture of Ed, and I went, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll be going. He’s a cutie,'” Valerie said of her future husband, per Oprah.com.
The actress added that it was love at first sight and that she and Eddie were inseparable. Valerie also revealed that despite his bad-boy reputation, Eddie was a gentleman and insisted they sleep in separate rooms when they first started dating.
Valerie was just 20 when she married the rock star. Since she was known as “America’s Sweetheart” due to her role as Barbara Cooper on the CBS sitcom One Day at a Time — and Eddie was riding high with his band’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle at the time — they were known as a “good girl/bad boy” couple.
They wed at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Westwood, California, on April 11, 1981, after just eight months of dating.
“When people express doubts about us, it drives us crazy,” Valerie told People at the time. “We’re both monogamous people. I trust him, he trusts me and there’s no way anything would ever happen. I’m just happy.”
Unfortunately, partying and infidelity put a damper on their 25-year union, and they split for good in 2007. Both went on to remarry and ultimately invited each other as guests at their second weddings, per People.