A TV special supposed to examine the last hours of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s life is being criticized by some of those close to him.
Van Halen, who died in 2020 at the age of 65 after battling cancer, is the subject of an episode of the Reelz docuseries, “Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…”
The show’s site notes his cause of death and reads, “But if detected early, Eddie’s disease has had reasonable survival rates.”
“So what happened?”, we read on the site. “World-renowned medical examiner Dr. Michael Hunter must analyze every detail of Eddie Van Halen’s life in order to piece together what else may have happened to his body that ultimately led to his untimely death.”
His son, Wolfgang Van Halen, tweeted that the episode is “disgusting trying to glorify someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless.
The late rocker’s former wife, actress and cookbook author, Valérie Bertinelli, also weighed in on Twitter.
“Good God, that’s disgusting”, she tweeted.
She and the eldest Van Halen were married from 1981 to 2007.
“Autopsy: The Last Hours of … responsibly explores the circumstances of the deaths of well-known and genuinely beloved celebrities about whom the public cares deeply,” Reelz said in a statement to CNN.
“The REELZ series generates a lot of feedback from our viewers, ranging from medical professionals praising its scientific accuracy, fans telling us it shuts down, or that they’ve become more proactive for the benefit of their health and many who gain a useful perspective on health issues that might otherwise not receive attention like Karen Carpenter who brought anorexia to the public, Prince whose death brought attention to the opioid epidemic and Luke Perry whose passing has renewed attention to strokes that affect people of all ages,” the statement continued.
The Eddie Van Halen episode is set to air on Sunday.