Bruce Willis‘ wife, Emma Heming Willis, revealed in a new interview that she doesn’t know if Bruce is aware of his current health struggles. Emma, 47, spoke to Today‘s Hoda Kotb on September 25 and gave an update on how Bruce, 68, is holding up amidst his battle with frontotemporal dementia, after the family announced his diagnosis earlier this year. When Hoda asked Emma if the Die Hard star knows what’s going on with his health, Emma responded, “Hard to know. It’s hard to know.”
As Bruce’s “care giver,” Emma explained that the actor’s dementia diagnosis hasn’t been easy for their family. “What I’m learning is dementia is hard. It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family,” Emma said. “And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say that this is a family disease, it really is.”
Emma also confirmed that her and Bruce’s daughters Mabel Ray, 11, and Evelyn Penn, 9, know about their dad’s health issues. “We’re a very honest and open household. The most important thing was to be able for us to say what the disease was, explain what it is, because when you know what the disease is is from a medical standpoint, it sort of all makes sense,” she told Hoda. “So it was important that we let them know what it is. I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis or for any form of dementia.”
Bruce was initially diagnosed with aphasia, before his family revealed that his conditioned worsened to a form of dementia. During her Today interview, Bruce’s wife explained that it was both a “blessing” and a “curse” when they realized what Bruce was sick with. “To finally understand what was happening so that I could be into the acceptance of what is,” she said. “It doesn’t make it any less painful, but just being in the acceptance and just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce just makes it a little bit easier.”
Despite Bruce’s tough battle with dementia, which has affected his ability to speak and his personality, Emma pointed out that there’s still “so many beautiful things happening” in their lives that they want to recognize and celebrate. “It’s just really important for me to look up from the grief and the sadness so that I can see what is happening around us,” she said. “Bruce would really want us to be in the joy of what is. He would really want that for me and our family.”
Bruce has had his entire family by his side throughout his health battle, which has forced him to retire from acting. In addition to the two young daughters he shares with Emma, Bruce has three adult children — Rumer, 35, Scout, 32 and Tallulah, 29 — from his marriage to Demi Moore, 60. Bruce became a grandparent when Rumer welcomed her first child, daughter Louetta, with her boyfriend Derek Richard Thomas in April. Rumer shared an adorable photo of Bruce holding his granddaughter on Father’s Day two months later.