Emma Heming Willis speaks out after husband Bruce Willis filmed out in public following dementia diagnosis: 'Give him his space'
The actor's dementia diagnosis was made public last month.
Model and CocoBaba founder Emma Heming Willis grew emotional as she filmed a video in response to husband Bruce Willis being photographed during a rare outing with friends this week. The action hero's wife, who has been working with a dementia specialist following his recent diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), shared the video on Instagram as she sought out advice on keeping him safe while out in public.
"To other caregivers or dementia care specialist navigating this world ... Any tips or advice on how to get your loved ones out in the world safely? Please share below," wrote Emma, 45, who shares two young daughters with the Die Hard star.
Her post included a video — shot on Saturday morning in her pajamas — in which she acknowledged the challenges of taking care
"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," she shared.
Emma went on to reference her husband, who turns 68 on March 19, being photographed during his outing to a coffee shop in Santa Monica, Calif. last week.
"I'm just seeing headlines," she said, her voice catching. "And there's a video of my husband out getting some coffee with some friends that did a stand-up job with protecting him."
At that point, an emotional Emma stopped filming to give herself a moment to collect herself. After a break, she returned to address the issue with Willis being filmed or distracted while out in public.
"It's clear that there's still a lot of education that needs to be put forth," she continued. "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. For the video people, 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? 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," she said as she signed off.
Stepdaughter Tallulah Willis, the youngest of Bruce's three daughters with first wife Demi Moore, was among those leaving supportive comments under Emma's post, writing, "I love you so much. I see you."
March 30 will mark one year since the Pulp Fiction actor's family — including Emma, Moore and his five daughters — announced that he would be stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder that can affect someone's ability to communicate. Last month, the "Ladies of Willis/Moore" shared the news that Willis's condition had "progressed," and that he had subsequently been diagnosed with FTD.
"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," they shared.
"FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone," their statement continued. "For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce's condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that — if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families," the family wrote.