Bruce Willis' Wife Tells Paparazzi to "Give Him His Space" in Emotional Plea
The star's family recently revealed that he's been diagnosed with dementia.
His family recently revealed that he has been diagnosed with dementia, and now, Bruce Willis' wife, Emma Heming Willis, is pleading with paparazzi to give him some privacy during this difficult time. In a video posted to Instagram on Saturday, March 4, Heming Willis explains that the actor has to be given space when he is out in public, not just because he deserves privacy, but also because she fears for his safety and wellbeing. Read on to see what else she shared about her husband and what she had to say to the paparazzi and fans who accost him in the emotional message.
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Willis has frontotemporal dementia.
On Feb. 16, Willis' family—Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five daughters—released a statement in which they shared with the public that the actor has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
"Frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for a group of brain disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain," explains the Mayo Clinic. "These areas of the brain are generally associated with personality, behavior and language."
In March 2022, the family had shared that Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, which affects how one communicates.
"Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces," the family's latest statement reads. "While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."
Heming Willis opened up about being a caregiver.
In her Instagram video, Heming Willis says that she aims to spread awareness about the condition and about the struggles of being a caregiver for someone with the disorder.
"In service of raising awareness around dementia, because that is my goal, if you are someone that is looking after someone with dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and just to navigate them safely—even just to get a cup of coffee," Heming Willis says.
In the caption of the video, she also asks those with experience for "any tips or advice on how to get your loved ones out in the world safely."
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She asked paparazzi for space.
Heming Willis gets choked up in the Instagram post when she mentions seeing headlines and a video of Willis out getting coffee with friends, who she says "did a stand-up job with protecting him."
The model and entrepreneur continues, "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 the video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about: Just keep your space. I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space."
Heming Willis also asks that the "video people" don't yell at Willis. "Please don't be yelling at my husband asking him how he's doing or whatever, the woohoo-ing and the yippee ki-yays, just don't do it, OK?" she continues. "Give him his 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."
The family are getting help from a dementia expert.
Following the announcement of Willis' diagnosis, Heming Willis shared another post in which she talked about getting support from dementia specialist Teepa Snow.
"I'm grateful I had the opportunity to work with @teepasnows_pac who has helped me add to my dementia care toolbox," Heming Willis wrote on Instagram. "She's a loving, compassionate and skilled leader in this space who navigates herself with pure empathy. She's a gift." The 44-year-old also shared a link to more information about Snow for other caregivers who might be interested in her expertise.
Snow commented on the post, "@emmahemingwillis has done an absolutely remarkable job of providing the right support for Bruce as his abilities have changed and created a place space and life that continues to provide him with what he needs to live well. Frontal temporal dementia is never easy but with the right programming and support, it truly is possible to continue living life."