Bruce Willis has been photographed for the first time since his wife Emma Heming Willis’ heartbreaking update on his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis.
The Die Hard actor’s loved ones revealed in February he had been diagnosed with the degenerative condition, a year after he stepped away from acting due to communication disorder aphasia, and Emma Heming Willis admitted she wasn’t sure how much the 68-year-old star understands.
Asked if he was aware of his condition on Today, Heming told co-host Hoda Kotb: “It’s hard to know.”
The 45-year-old model — who has daughters Mabel, 11, and 8-year-old Evelyn with Bruce — admitted her husband’s condition has been “hard” on everyone around him, including his three adult daughters with ex-wife Demi Moore.
She grew emotional as she said: “What I’m learning is dementia is hard.
“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.”
Heming said coming to terms with Willis’ condition has been “the blessing and the curse”, but she’s thankful he was able to get a definitive diagnosis.
She said: “To finally understand what was happening so that I could be into the acceptance of what is — it doesn’t make it any less painful, but ... just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce makes it a little easier.”
The Make Time Wellness founder described her spouse as the “gift that keeps on giving” and he and his condition have taught their daughters qualities such as “love, patience and resilience”.
She said: “It’s teaching them so much and how to care and love, and it’s really a beautiful thing amongst the sadness.”
Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming Willis. Photo / Getty Images
As well as looking after her husband, Heming is aware she needs to take care of herself too.
She said: “It’s important for care partners to look after themselves so that they can be the best care partner for the person they’re caring for.”
Bruce Willis’ daughters Scout and Tallulah are “so proud” of Emma Heming Willis for speaking about their father’s health battle.
Scout, 32, wrote on Instagram: “I truly could not be more proud of @emmahemingwillis for being willing to step out into the public eye, (even thought it’s terrifying!!!) to share our family’s story in service of spreading awareness about FTD.
“Emma you are such a champion for this cause and you inspire me EVERY SINGLE F****** DAY with your bravery and deep loving.
“Your courage is moving mountains.”
And Tallulah, 29, added: “So proud of my family.”
Willis also has daughter Rumer, 35, with Moore — to whom he was married from 1987 to 2000 — while he and Heming have Mabel and Evelyn together.
– Additional reporting NZ Herald
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