Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma Heming admitted that it’s “hard to know” whether the actor is aware of his dementia, as she called it a “family disease.”
Sitting down for her first TV interview since publicly announcing Willis’ dementia diagnosis, the former model helped kick off World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week on the “Today” show Monday.
“Dementia is hard,” the 45-year-old confessed. “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.”
Willis stepped away from acting in March 2022 after his family publicly revealed that he’d been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects a person’s language processing and communication abilities. Willis’ condition has “progressed” and he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in February 2023.
Heming has already self-declared herself as Willis’ “care partner.” She said that the ‘Die Hard’ actor’s diagnosis “was the blessing and the curse.”
She explained, “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.”
Willis and Heming share two daughters, Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 9. Willis’ diagnosis is “teaching them so much – how to love, how to care, and it’s a really beautiful thing amongst the sadness,” Heming said.
Heming added that it takes effort to put her “best foot forward” every day. She admitted that it’s a daily task that “does not come to [her] easily,” However, she feels it is “really important” for “the sake of [herself] and [her] family.”