Three years after officially divorcing rock icon Eddie Van Halen, actress Valerie Bertinelli is preparing to give marriage another try. In an interview with AARP Magazine, the 50-year-old star opened up about her engagement to long-time boyfriend Tom Vitale, who proposed after a romantic night out in Florence.
Valerie Bertinelli is engaged to her boyfriend of nearly six years, businessman Tom Vitale. The proposal came as a surprise during a 10-day stay in Italy. “We’d talked about getting married,” Bertinelli tells the July/August issue of AARP The Magazine (on newsstands Monday). “But I was still shocked. It was sweet when he asked me, because he was so scared. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” The actress, who turned 50 on April 23, says she wasn’t always sure things would turn out this way: “After Ed (former husband Eddie Van Halen) 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.’ I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life, because I didn’t want the responsibility. Relationships are too hard.”
Vitale, who was once ordained a nondenominational minister, has helped Catholic-raised Bertinelli tap into her spiritual side. “I believe in the whole karma thing—sowing and reaping,” Vitale says. “We try to plant good stuff every day.” To that end, Bertinelli made peace with Van Halen, who went into rehab and is now, she says, “a terrific dad.” She allowed Wolfie, currently 19 and a “brilliant musician”—he plays guitar, piano, bass, and drums—to tour with his father in 2007. And she and Vitale attended Van Halen’s 2009 wedding (complete with a nonalcoholic bar) to stuntwoman Janie Liszewski.