Valerie Bertinelli says Eddie Van Halen was in denial. According to the "One Day At A Time" actress, her rocker ex-husband refused to acknowledge that his smoking habit had been the cause of his mouth cancer.
In a new interview with Ladies Home Journal magazine, Bertinelli, 47, says that Van Halen blamed his guitar pick over his condition and rejected the fact that he was a smoker that was likely the cause.
She says, "The guys has mouth cancer, gets part of his tongue cut out, and he still insists cigarettes have nothing to do with it.
"You should have seen the guy (alternative medicine practitioner) he attributes his 'cure' to. They sat around drinking and smoking in our hotel room. But, well, cancer hasn't come back yet, so who am I to say. There was so much denial."
She adds: "He's got issues that he needs to deal with and I hope he will. No one else can bring him out of what he's in but himself."
Bertinelli and Van Halen's divorce was finalized in December 2007, but both claimed they were separated since 2001.