Rock

Filmmaker Andrew Bennett Talks Eddie Van Halen Pointing a Gun at Him & Other Stories From 'Eruption in the Canyon' Chronicle

Eddie Van Halen
Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic

Eddie Van Halen photographed on June 22, 2004 at Continental Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On a spring night in 2004, Andrew Bennett was awakened by his cellphone at 3:00 a.m. “It’s Ed,” said the man on the other end of the call.

“Ed who?” Asked Bennett.

“Eddie...Van...Halen,” came the reply. “What are you doing right now?”

“Oh nothing,” said Bennett. As he recalls 16 years later, “I didn’t think telling a rock star I was dead asleep was the coolest thing to say.”

Van Halen insisted that Bennett, who was 27 at the time and a respected music video director and filmmaker, make the 30-minute drive to 5150, the music studio he had built on a hill behind his house in Los Angeles’ Coldwater Canyon neighborhood.

When Bennett arrived, he encountered not Van Halen but songwriter and producer Glen Ballard. Bennett and Ballard had become fast friends when both men accompanied Katy Perry on a globetrotting series of intimate showcase performances in 2003 and 2004. Bennett, who had worked with Perry Farrell, the Jonas Brothers and Deftones, documented the trip.

Ballard hugged Bennett and patted him on the back. “Good luck, man,” he said, before slipping out the door the filmmaker had just entered.

Eddie Van Halen appeared a few minutes later, his face gaunt, his long hair done up in a Samurai-style topknot. Shirtless, he wore ripped jeans held up by a makeshift belt of rope and duct-taped combat boots. “When I saw him, I thought, something is going on with this dude,” says Bennett. “Then he started playing guitar and I was almost convinced he's an alien.”

As the night progressed, Bennett learned that Van Halen wanted his life story documented, and Ballard had recommended him as the man for the job. The guitar god didn’t say as much, but mortality may have been on his mind. After having a cancerous section of his tongue removed in 2000, Van Halen had been declared free of the disease in 2002. It has since been reported, however, that he is battling throat cancer -- although a spokesman for Van Halen declined to comment and Eddie could not be reached.

After swigging from a bottle of wine with Van Halen, Bennett accepted the job, beginning a wild rock ‘n’ roll ride ― replete with firearms, countless bottles of six-dollar Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon, and a legal skirmish. The experience resulted not in a documentary but a photo book, Eruption in the Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen, the book, self-published by Bennett, chronicles the two weeks he spent filming the guitar virtuoso in 2004, and then living with him from 2006 to 2007.

During that time, the visual artist says he witnessed the best and the worst of Van Halen’s moods -- the guitarist’s unflagging dedication to his art, the sometimes volatile rehearsals for his band’s 2007 reunion tour and, Bennett says, a terrifying half hour during which Eddie held a gun to the filmmaker's head because of a meeting Bennett had taken with then-Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.

Courtesy Photo

Despite the unprecedented access that Van Halen gave Bennett, their collaboration ended in litigation. Bennett says he never received the full payment of $248,500 that Eddie promised him for his work. When Andrew released some of the footage online in 2018, Van Halen successfully filed for an injunction to halt the release and sale of the footage. claiming that he owned the rights to the documentary, per a 2015 agreement. The injunction halted the release and sale of the footage.

“I’m more confused, disappointed and hurt than angry,” says Bennett. “Ed gave me his word. He saw how hard I worked and then he f--ked me over. That’s what shocks me. That’s not the person I know. The depression from it is what kills me the most.”

Although Bennett says that he was paid $7,500 per the settlement agreement, he also says that neither he nor Van Halen signed the document. “Technically, there is no settlement contract,” claims Bennett. “I hadn’t heard from Ed in eight years. He ghosted me. Then he finds out I’m about to get out of rehab and that’s when the offer comes. I never understood why it was $7,500. It was chump change. He probably thought I was desperate and he could get me when I’m most vulnerable. I took the money, but he owed me way more.”

In the wake of the publication of Eruption in the Canyon, Bennett talked to Billboard about Van Halen’s perfectionism and what he came to call his many “DEFCON” experiences living with the mercurial guitarist, among them, a scuffle with his brother and the band’s drummer Alex Van Halen that trashed the latter’s Porsche; Eddie’s fraught relationships with Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Roth; and that much-publicized dust-up with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

Did you and Eddie have an instant chemistry when you met?

He came out and smiled at me. Eddie Van Halen has a smile that can bring us world peace. His smile might cure coronavirus.

All he said was, “So you’re Andrew Bennett.” I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “So you’re Eddie Van Halen.” He said, “The last time I checked.” He grabbed a bottle of wine and I asked him, “Where do I grab a glass?” He took a pull out of the bottle and said, “Glass? It comes in a glass.” So, we’re just sitting there across from each other handing the wine back-and-forth and one of the first things he asked was, “Are you a fan of my band?” I said, “Well, I don’t really have an opinion. I don’t really know anything about your band.”

His eyes lit up. He goes, “You know nothing about my band?” I told him that I knew the song “Jump” because it came out when I was 7, and “Right Now” because it was in a Pepsi commercial in the ‘90s. The look on his face -- I don’t think he had met anyone in 30 years who didn’t know who he was or couldn’t name at least five Van Halen songs. He took a swig of the bottle, leaned forward and said, “Andrew, we’re going to get along just fine.”

Did seeing this wealthy rock star behaving like a punk rocker surprise you?

I didn’t expect him to come out looking like David Lee Roth in sequins and a boa, but I also didn’t expect someone who looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings dressed like a 1930s hobo.

Was his “I give zero f--ks” attitude real?

Eddie Van Halen doesn’t try to impress anyone. He genuinely doesn’t give a f--k what you think, which is the punk rock side of him. During the time I spent with him, his main house had no furniture, no TV, no fruit array in the kitchen -- nothing. He spends 18 to 20 hours a day in the studio. Then he would go back to his house, crash on a mattress, wake up four hours later, light a cigarette and walk back up to the studio in a coonskin hat and no shirt. Sometimes it was the cocaine, but Eddie has such a passion for having his guitar on and plugged into his rig that sleep seems like something he has to do.

The closest thing he had to a nice car was a Chevy Bel Air that looked like it had been restored. I asked him, “Do you ever drive that car?” He goes, “Oh no, man. I hate driving that car.” “Why do you have it?” I said. He goes, “Because [his ex-wife] Valerie [Bertinelli] didn’t want me to get it.” He goes, “He goes, look at the plate.” It read: “She’s Mad.”

What was it like living with and filming Eddie for a year?

First and foremost is his work ethic. He believes there is no room for complacency. He has recorded hundreds of songs that he won’t release because Eddie doesn’t think they are perfect. Van Halen would be rehearsing and somebody would say, “Let’s move on. That’s good enough,” and you’d see this look in Eddie’s eye like you had just insulted his mother. He hates the term, “Good enough.” Eddie goes to bed listening to all his rehearsals to make himself better. Some nights he would play the cello for hours to relax and help him go to sleep.

Did you ever see him get to a point where he felt he’d perfected a song?

I can’t think of a single day after they jammed a song where Eddie thought, “F--k, that was great.” To Ed, it was more like, "What’s next?" Ed loves practicing like he’s at a live show. There’s no dead time, just 18 [consecutive] songs.

Michael Bezjian/WireImage
Eddie Van Halen Performs at the House of Petals Summer Jam Series - July 19, 2006 at House of Petals in West Hollywood.

What was the purpose of filming him in 2004, and why did he call you two years later to film him again?

Van Halen was recording three new songs with Sammy Hagar for their greatest hits album Best of Both Worlds in 2004. Eddie said, “I wish there was someone here to document how hard I work.” That’s when Glen said, “Hey man, I know a guy.”

I documented a couple weeks up there, sometimes with Eddie and Glen or just alone with Eddie. Sammy would pop in and do his vocals. Glen suggested that I take the footage I filmed and edit it together for their song “It’s About Time.” So I did. Glen threw me a ridiculous amount of money for it. Then they went on tour, and I went off and directed music videos.

Ed randomly called me up again in 2006. I was surprised. He goes, “Hey, Andrew. I kicked the f--king bass player [Michael Anthony] out of my band, and I’m replacing him with my kid [Wolfgang]. You should come up here and document this.” I asked him, “Are we making a film? Am I going to be asking you intermittent questions as we go along here?” He said, “Nope. We’re documenting this so people see how f--king hard I work.” And that’s exactly what we did.

Were you planning to make a documentary of Van Halen?

There was never a discussion of a documentary at first. I was at my desk at 5150 and Ed comes in saying, “You have been here a long time. I have never paid you. You know, we need to work something out, man.” He asks, “What do you want?” I told him that I wanted to document their 2007 Van Halen tour in a few weeks and turn it into a documentary, just like I did with the Deftones. Ed responded, “In order for that to happen, everyone in Van Halen has to agree on something. You know the odds of that, right?”

Then he said, “I’ll tell you what: If you don’t end up going on the tour, I will pay you for all of your time.” We agreed on $248,500 based on my day rate and the amount of days and time I spent there. Then he goes, “But are sure you don’t want a car or guitar or something?” I should have taken a f--king guitar. I understand the rest of the world would ask why I didn’t get a contract, but that wasn’t our relationship. I trusted him.

You write in your book that Eddie was often isolated and subject to mood swings. What would set him off, and how did he rein in his emotions?

The bad moods would come when dealing with singers. Like in ’04, he did not like dealing with Sammy Hager. It goes back to work ethic. With the bass player Michael Anthony, and with Sammy, he would tell me, “They just phone it in.” He didn’t feel they worked as hard as him. Ed would play in the studio for 12 hours. They wouldn’t. He would go real dark because he took it personally. He would say, “Why aren’t you guys as committed as I am?” He felt that they weren’t showing him enough respect. He’d tell them, “You would all be working in an assembly line if you hadn’t met me.”

He’s highly aware that he has this card he can pull: that he’s the greatest who’s ever played, so you can all shut the f--k up now. People would see Eddie and stop dead in their tracks. They would be unable to speak — some would even have a little trouble breathing. It was like they were seeing an apparition. If you are on the receiving side of that, I think it f--ks with your [head] when you don’t have many friends. Over the years, your brain is going to start to get wired differently when you can’t have real relationships with people. There’s a mad genius thing there, and you have to take the good with the bad.

You shot a clip of Eddie that I’ve seen called “Three Minutes of Darkness” in which Eddie fights back tears while really laying in to Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. Why was he so frustrated?

That was the night where I understood Eddie Van Halen. Again, it goes back to [Sammy and Michael] phoning it in.

I hate to throw somebody under the bus, but it was ’04 and they were working on new songs for their greatest hits compilation and were about to go on tour. Sammy Hagar would sit on a stool, sing the song and then want to leave. When Eddie was laying down his guitar parts, Sammy would go outside, make phone calls. It was like, "Dude, are you a part of this band?"

That’s when Eddie was really losing respect for him. To be brutal, Ed saw Sammy as a lazy motherf--ker who won the lottery. He thought all he cared about was his [Cabo Wabo] tequila company. One night, Sammy and I were standing outside talking while the camera was rolling. Ed came storming out and Sammy goes, “Hey, hey, Ed, where are you going?” Ed goes, “I’m done. It’s time for you to sing, b--ch.”

What happened next?

Ed stayed [at 5150] for another six hours working with Glen. Later, I found him standing in the kitchen. He was drinking a bottle of wine, and he was really upset. I said, “Hey man, if you want to get something off your chest, I have a camera.” The first thing he did was bury his face into his hands. “You make somebody a f--king multimillionaire. This is how they repay you? I’ve f--king had it,” he says. “There is only one reason you guys are here: money. I spend 14 to 18 hours a godd--n day in that f--king room and what do they do? They go home to their families, they have dinner, they don’t practice.”

Eddie’s beef was that Michael Anthony had never played bass on any Van Halen record except the first. [The other albums are] all Eddie. Michael Anthony made his money playing on tour. He was holding out for a bigger cut. Eddie didn’t feel he deserved it. Eddie saw Michael as a hired hand and not a member of the band. He also hated Michael Anthony’s work ethic. He didn’t think he was a great bass player, and he didn’t think he could write a song to save his life. When Mike held out for more money it was the ultimate insult. He felt these motherf--kers can’t even hang out for four hours and play.

“You will have no life after this,” Ed said on the tape. “You might have tequila, you might have watches, Mike. But music?" He held up his middle finger to the camera and said, “You’re not a musician. F--k you.”

Eddie has talked about using cocaine, but in the book you never mention him using it. Why?

I’ve only seen Eddie drink 2006 Smoking Loon Cabernet. It’s six dollars a bottle. The guy has hundreds of millions of dollars but that’s the wine. I asked him once why he buys the cheap stuff. He goes, “Because I like it.” I’m not saying this just to be nice. I never saw him do drugs.

But earlier in this conversation you alluded to being aware that he was using it.

I’m five years sober. I know what somebody looks like when they’re on cocaine. He would get a little more hyper. I know from his personality that it wasn’t just red wine. He had a lot of energy and he would be really amped up, especially for a guy who just had three bottles of red wine, which he had every night. He would never do cocaine in front of me, and he never did anything in the studio. The studio was for work, not for play. Ed’s assistant Matt Bruck told me that there was a seedy guy who procured cocaine for Ed. He would sleep on the couch in the studio until Ed needed more blow. But he left before I started there.

It was my understanding that Ed went to rehab for alcohol, but based on my own history, I don’t believe that. I know what the combination looks like. Alcohol was the clear problem, though. That man was a rock-bottom alcoholic, and I speak as one. I never saw Ed without a bottle of wine until he went to rehab. He would carry it with him everywhere. If he drove somewhere, it would be between his legs. But even when he was drinking, it didn’t affect his musicianship. The man shredded and he would still be a perfectionist. He was a happy drunk. When he was drinking wine, he was in a good mood. It was just part of his routine.

What was the dynamic between Eddie and David Lee Roth when they decided to reunite?

At first it was weird. Onstage they can do their little thing, lean their backs against each other. Eddie is just happy to be standing there playing. The issue is that Roth’s personality onstage is the same personality offstage and sometimes Ed just wants him to shut the f--k up. My understanding is that on the [reunion] tour they set up the dressing rooms so they didn’t have to actually share space together. The only time they saw each other was onstage.

What was Eddie’s take on David and his brother Alex?

He kind of writes Dave off as well. He’s a singer. To Eddie, singers are almost irrelevant. They’re just there because that’s an ingredient in a rock band. If it were up to Eddie, they’d go out with no singer. He doesn’t give a s--t about your lyrics. With Dave, it’s like having this eclectic friend that can annoy the s--t out of you but you love him. Dave can go onstage and turn it on, so to Eddie, having Dave in the studio wasn’t that important when they weren’t recording new songs. As long as he shows up for the concert, does his kicks and routine on stage, he has no problem.

With his brother, 90% of the time they would get along. They have a strong bond. Sometimes Alex would yell, “F--k you,” and Ed would yell back. If this was happening, I’d text DEFCON to Ed’s assistant. It meant that wherever you are, stay there. Don’t let them see you because they will drag you into the fight. They would scream and slam doors. Then it was over and nobody talked about it. Alex really has respect for Eddie.

Didn’t Alex and Eddie get into a big fight that involved Alex’s car?

That DEFCON I saw coming. I sat in the woods and smoked a joint while I watched it all go down. Ed and Alex got into an argument , and Alex comes walking out of the studio. Ed has this thing about people turning their back on him. Alex did. Al got in his car, but Ed always likes the last word. He got in front of Al’s car screaming, “You don’t turn your back on me!” Ed jumped on the hood of the car and held onto the windshield while he was punching the driver side window and shattered it. Then he stuck his hand inside his brother’s mouth and launched his own body off the car while pulling his brother’s head with him.

The car stalled, Eddie rolled onto the cement, and he jumped up real quick, jumped inside the Porsche, grabbed the keys and threw them into the woods. That’s when he goes, “I made you, motherf--ker. Don’t you ever turn your back on me!” It was the only time I heard Eddie say that to his brother. Ed walked back down to his house, and I came out of hiding. Al smiled at me. I said, “So, you need a ride home?” He goes, “No man, I’ll get it taken care of.” When you’re rich like that, fame helps. A Porsche rep brought Alex another car and picked up the [damaged one]. He never found the keys.

Wolfgang Van Halen was just 15 when Eddie fired Michael Anthony and made his son the band’s bassist. What was the father-son dynamic like?

I’ve never seen Eddie that happy. It was his style to be like, "You are a member of Van Halen, so live up to it." Wolfgang was expected to be at every rehearsal from beginning to end. If he f--ked up, Ed would tell him. Eddie talked to him like a band member. Eddie would die for Wolfgang. He would kill for him. But he also loves his guitars. So, when he could bring those two together, that made him really happy.

What was it like to watch them play?

There were a lot of days where Wolfgang would ask if they were done playing. Ed would tell him, “We’re playing three more. Stand up.” He seemed like a really bored teenager working a summer job. He never complained, but he didn’t look like he was having the time of his life either. [Eddie’s ex-wife] Valerie [Bertinelli] would drop him off at rehearsal, which we all thought was hilarious. Not only are you [too] young to be in this band, your mom had to drop you off at practice. And this is the last place your mom wants to go.

What was Eddie like as a father and a husband?

People should take lessons from Eddie on how to be a good dad. He loves that kid. I never saw Valerie come on the property. I saw Valerie drop Wolf off by the gates, but their dynamic then was pretty f--king weird. He was a f--king drunk. Now that he’s been sober and clean, they have an actual bond again. I think she really loved and cared about him and still does. From talking to Ed, I always got the sense that she’s the one that got away. He loved that woman. I never thought he moved on.

But he got remarried to Janie [Liszewski]. She made him happy. He was happy to have structure. He seemed driven to get better as far as drinking. I would credit Wolfgang with most of this, but she was there. I’ve never seen Janie and Eddie kiss, hold hands, nothing. I never saw a true love or passion between them.

Was Wolfgang affected by Eddie’s destructive behavior?

Wolfgange would be pretty solemn. You could tell it was bothering him. He wasn’t angry or jaded, he was just really sad. He wished his dad wasn’t in so much pain, and he wished there was something he could do. And Eddie was aware. It was a f--ked up thing to watch.

Did Ed go to rehab while you were there?

We shut down shop for six weeks. His relationship with Wolfgang was the influence to go. He wasn’t a kid anymore. He was extremely conscious of what was going on. It was going to get worse, and when you’re an eclectic, emotional person having a substance abuse problem, that only makes things 10 times worse. If you watch the footage of Eddie having a drunk day, you see this look on Wolfgang’s face -- he doesn’t know how to deal with this. A lot of people didn’t know how to deal with it in Eddie’s life.

How was Eddie different when he got back from rehab?

He was a little softer around the edges. I noticed that he was better at not getting angry. He seemed more willing to put himself in positions like reuniting for the 2007 tour, rehearsing at the Forum, dealing with Roth.

And then he cut his hair. Oh, it’s so painful to even talk about. You should have seen my heart just split in half when I saw Eddie Van Halen with frosted tips. He cuts his own hair with a knife. He started wearing khakis, button-down linen shirts, a puka shell necklace, and he got tan. He had a vape pen. He put on some weight because that’s what happens when you quit drinking and you start eating food again. It was the end of an era.

Eddie Van Halen filed an injunction for you releasing footage of him on the website 5150vault.com. It was taken down by Ed and then you launched it on another site, thefiftyonefiftyvault.com, the next day. Now it’s down again. What happened?

I got the idea from Gene Simmons. I made it very clear to Eddie that if he paid me, I wouldn’t release it. It wasn’t a threat or anything. Ed owed me a lot of money, and I tried for 10 years to get him to pay. I told him what was on [the footage], and I waited a month before I did anything. Zero response.

It wasn’t malicious. I kept in mind what he said to me when we first met: he wanted people to see how hard he worked. I have hundreds of hours of him in all kinds of moods and conditions. I put up just one hour of what I thought was the best rehearsal day. I wanted to sell it to hardcore fans, make back the money I was owed and move on with my life. I didn’t recoup my losses. I sold 12 copies. By the way, Sammy Hagar was the last person to buy the footage.

Why did you sell it to him?

I didn’t want to sell it to him. I wanted to give it to him. I know his son and have done videos for both of them. Hagar said to me, “The balls on you, kid. The balls on you.” He asked if I was still selling the [footage], and I told him I took it down. I told him I would send him a copy. He insisted on paying for it. I had no guilt, because I stand behind that footage.

Your 2015 settlement states that if you fail to abide by the terms and agreements, you owe Eddie $100,000 per month for each violation. Are you worried?

I’ll tell you what I told him in emails. I’m a starving artist. Monetarily, what is he going to take? I’m not trying to sound tough. If he wins and the court says I owe him money, I don’t have it. But I’ll still have the hard drive. Nothing will change.

Did Ed consider any other guitarist his equal?

If Eddie ever thought that somebody was on par with him, it was Dimebag Darrell from Pantera. He had mad respect for that guy. When Darrell got shot in the head onstage, that f--ked Eddie up. I had never seen him that upset.

Your story of Eddie holding a gun to Fred Durst’s head went viral. Why was he playing with Fred?

Limp Bizkit were looking for a guitar player to replace Wes Borland. It was no easy feat. Fred, Eddie and Jimmy Iovine found themselves at the same party, I think the Playboy mansion. Apparently, Jimmy said to Fred, “Hey, you should get Eddie Van Halen” while Eddie was standing there. Fred said, “F--k it, let’s do it.” Then Ed said, “F--k it, let’s jam.”

Eddie Van Halen was never going to join Limp Bizkit. I don’t think Iovine was serious either. Fred Durst is a really smart guy. Even if Eddie is f--king with you, he’s going to come to your house and play with you -- that’s f--king awesome. Ed brought his own gear not because he was interested in replacing Borland, but because there is no f--king way Eddie will plug his guitar into anyone else’s rig. This is a testament to his perfectionism. Eddie brings his own cables, peddles, amps, heads. Ed told me, “It was like being a scholar amongst kindergartners.”

DJ Lethal started smoking weed and Ed smelled it. He hates weed. He associates it with laziness. When that happened, combined with the fact that he wasn’t exactly blown away by Limp Bizkit’s musicianship, Ed left. He showed up with the gun because he called Durst three times for his equipment and Fred ignored the calls. He felt disrespected.

Three repairmen tried to break in and steal Eddie’s guitars in November 2006. Were you scared he was going to kill them with his Uzi?

I came out after I heard the gun fire. I had to call this special number on the studio refrigerator for incidents like this. It was the LAPD captain’s private number. Sometimes, cops would drive around at night with a spotlight looking for stalkers in bushes. I thought Ed killed them. It’s 2 a.m. and he was firing an Uzi in the pitch black. He said to me, “Oh, come on. I was firing at their feet. I wasn’t aiming for them.”

You write in the book that Ed also held a gun to your head. Why did he do it, and what was going through your mind?

Paranoia. I had gone over to meet David Lee Roth. I spent the day with him because there was talk of me documenting the 2007 tour, so it was in my best interest to get to know him better. I wanted a good relationship and comfortability with everyone in the band. Roth comes out with these two giant samurai swords and does this routine in his backyard, staring me dead in the eyes the entire time. Then pulls out these giant flags and starts waving and twirling them. Then he says, “Now do you get the image that is Diamond David Lee Roth?”

He wanted me to film his routine and have it projected on a screen while they played “Everybody Wants Some” on tour. I figured it probably wouldn’t become part of the show. Ed said, “Oh, f--k no. But if that f--ker wants to waste his money, go right ahead.” I eventually filmed it at the Forum. Ed watched it and said, “That motherf--ker.” Then he walked away. Sure enough, it never ended up on the stage.

So why was Ed so upset with you?

Even though I got permission from Ed to film, he thought it was disloyal. His mind was racing. He was asking if I talked about him, what I said, what’s in David’s house -- bulls--t questions. I don’t know how to answer this without saying cocaine. I felt this thud hitting my head as I was sleeping. He had a 50-caliber Desert Eagle handgun pressed against my skull. I was frozen in fear, completely numb. He said, “So, friends with Dave now, are you?”

My first thought is that I was going to die and my body would be found in Downtown LA in a gutter with a needle in my arm. My parents would think I died as a junkie, no one would ever know what had happened to me. It was a f--ked-up moment of clarity where I accepted that I was going to die. After [what felt like] 30 minutes, he said, “F--k this, my arm hurts.” Then he got up and walked away. I quickly gathered all the hard drives, all the tapes and footage and left.

That was the last time you ever communicated with Eddie. What would you say to him now?

I’ve reached out to him. I’ve never gotten a single response. Right before the book came out, I wrote him an email that said you owe me $248,500. If you will have lunch with me for one hour and answer why you never paid me and why you held a gun to my head, I’ll forget everything. I’ll give you all of your footage. We will never speak of this ever again and you owe me nothing. I’ll hand you the hard drive and leave. At one point in time, he kissed me on the lips, and he told me he was going to pay me. He never did. At this point, I really want answers.

Eddie has been battling throat cancer for years. How has this affected you?

He always seemed immortal to me. I watched the man drink like a fish and damage his body. I watched the man beat cancer. He had part of his tongue missing because he had it cut out. Now he’s not doing well and it makes me really f--king depressed. I know that he’s really sick. It saddens me, because regardless of all the bulls--t, I considered him a friend. It feels like a really great relationship gone to waste. He meant a lot to me as a person. Did the man put a gun to my head and never pay me? Yes. Do I hate him? No. I f--king love him.