It’s been nearly a year since Bruce Willis retired from acting after announcing his struggle with aphasia. Now his wife says it’s time for paparazzi to get the memo and acknowledge that he’s transitioning to private life.
In a widely-circulated video posted on her personal Instagram account on Sunday, Emma Heming Willis asked photographers to stop trying to engage the retired actor when his family takes him out in public.
“If you are someone who is looking after someone with dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and to navigate them safely, even just to get a cup of coffee,” she said. “It’s clear that there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put forth. So this one is going out to the photographers and video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about. Just keep your space.”
She continued: “I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space… Please don’t be yelling at my husband, asking how he’s doing, whatever. The woo-hooing and the yippee-ki-yay’s — just don’t do it. Give him the space. Allow for our family or whoever’s with him that day to be able to get him from Point A to Point B safely. That’s my PSA.”
Her comments come just weeks after Willis’ family announced that his mental condition had progressed to the point where he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” the Willis family wrote in a statement. “Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
While Willis is no longer working on new films, his impact on the industry continues to be felt. His “Unbreakable” and “The Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan recently paid tribute to him while promoting “Knock at the Cabin,” saying that Willis still “means the world to me.”
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