Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, is speaking out about the actor battling frontotemporal dementia, and whether he fully understands his diagnosis and deteriorating condition.
“Hard to know. It’s hard to know,” an emotional Heming Wilis told NBC’s Today show on Monday as she added it was both a “blessing and a curse” for the mother of two to receive and ultimately accept his diagnosis.
“It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say this is a family disease, it really is,” she added in a conversation with Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb.
The Willis family publicly revealed in 2022 that the 68-year-old Pulp Fiction star was diagnosed with aphasia and was retiring from acting. After sharing that his condition had progressed to a dementia diagnosis earlier this year, Heming Willis, a mother of two, has become an advocate for World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week, which kicks off Monday.
Susan Dickinson, CEO of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, who also appeared on Today, said the devastating disease in some people takes away their ability to understand their deteriorating health condition. Willis’ neurological disease impacts his memory, language processing and communication abilities, among other health effects.
“It can affect speech, behaviors, personality and what we call executive functioning,” Dickinson said of the condition that has no cure. Willis and Eming Willis were married in 2009 and have two daughters, Mabel (11) and Evelyn (9).
Willis also has three adult children from his prior marriage to Demi Moore: Tallulah (29), Rumer (34) and Scout (31).