A record label exec from Van Halen's early days blames Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli for driving David Lee Roth out the band in 1985.
Ted Cohen, a former Warner Music A&R guy, says actress Bertinelli was like Van Halen's very own Yoko Ono when she turned up on the scene in 1980, according to Henne Music.
Apparently she believed Eddie was responsible for the band's success, and that Roth was expendable. Cohen argues otherwise. "David was an integral part of the band's success," he said. "He was brilliant."
Cohen shares a personal anecdote from his time with the band in the 1980s, saying that Eddie started to distance himself from the band because of Bertinelli's influence.
The marriage soon turned sour, and Cohen recalls a drinking session with the guitarist in Las Vegas where he poured his heart out.
"We kept hitting the minibar in the room and we got toasted," Cohen says, "and I just felt really bad because Eddie was so utterly depressed."
Did Eddie regret his marriage with Bertinelli? "I've made a terrible mistake," Eddie allegedly said.
Despite this, the pair remained together until substance abuse and infidelity allegedly tore their marriage apart in 2005. One year later, Roth returned to the band.
"If Valerie had never appeared on the scene," says Cohen, "David would probably have never been kicked out in the first place."