Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming fights tears as she marks dementia-stricken actor’s 68th birthday
Heming said: "So sometimes in our lives we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it. And that’s what I’m doing. But I do have times of sadness every day. Grief every day. And I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.”
The model, 44, shared her devastation in February about her Die Hard actor partner’s health woes in a joint statement with the rest of his family, and on Sunday (Mar 19), released a clip on Instagram revealing her sadness as he nears 70.
She said: “So today is my husband’s birthday. I have started the morning by crying. As you can see by my swollen eyes and snotty nose, I just think it’s important you see all sides of this.
“I always get this message or people always tell me like, ‘Oh you’re so strong, I don't know how you do it.’ I’m not given a choice. I wish I was. But I’m also raising two kids in this.
“So sometimes in our lives we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it. And that’s what I’m doing. But I do have times of sadness every day. Grief every day. And I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.”
In another video she added about how she was putting together a reel of clips for Willis: “So I worked on this reel that I’m posting for my husband’s birthday. I don’t know why I do that because the videos are like a knife in my heart.
“But as much as I do it for myself I do it for you. Because I know how much you love my husband and – don't cry Emma – but it means so much to me so thank you.”
Willis last year withdrew from acting after he was diagnosed with brain disorder aphasia, and his family said in February he’d been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
A joint statement from his ex-wife Demi Moore, Heming and his five children – two of whom he has with the model – said: “Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.
“In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.
“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.)
“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.”
The statement was signed off by Heming, Moore, 60, and Willis' daughters Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, Tallulah, 29 – who Willis had with Moore – and his girls Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, eight, who he had with Heming.
The actor’s rare condition – which consists of less than 5 per cent of all dementia cases – affects the lobes of the brain behind the forehead, which deal with behaviour, problem-solving, planning and emotions.
Symptoms can include personality changes, such as appearing rude, uninterested and unsympathetic, along with repeated, compulsive movements, hoarding and obsessions as well as craving unhealthy food.