An episode of a Reelz docuseries immersed in the details of Eddie Van Halen's cancer death has drawn fury from the rock star's family. His son, Wolfgang Van Halen, called the program "pathetic and heartless." Actress Valerie Bertinelli, who was married to Eddie Van Halen for more than 20 years before their divorce in 2007 and is Wolfgang's mother, said, "This is disgusting," USA Today reports. Eddie Van Halen struggled with cancer for two decades. His wife, Janie Liszewski; son, and Bertinelli were with him when he died at 65 in October 2020, per People.
Reelz defended the series, arguing that viewers say they've learned about health issues from watching "Autopsy: The Last Hours Of..." and that medical experts have called it scientifically accurate. The series website says it uncovers "the truth behind the controversial deaths of global icons" in documenting the celebrity's "final hours using crucial medical evidence" from the autopsy. The site says the episode, scheduled to premiere Sunday, asks "So What Happened?" in Van Halen's death. What's already publicly known about his illness is that he dealt with throat cancer and tongue cancer, and at the time he died, cancer had spread to all his organs, per People.
The cable network's site says: "World-renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter needs to analyze every detail of Eddie Van Halen's life in order to piece together what else may have been going on in his body, ultimately leading to his untimely death." In a social media response, Wolf Van Halen cursed everyone who works on the show and all those "trying to glamorize someone's death from cancer." Eddie Van Halen co-founded the group Van Halen in 1972. The band entered the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. (Read more Eddie Van Halen stories.)