Emma Heming Willis, the wife of actor Bruce Willis, gave an update on her husband’s health in an emotional interview on Monday.
The Die Hard actor was diagnosed with aphasia in 2022, and the family revealed this year that Willis also suffers from frontotemporal dementia.
“Dementia is hard,” Heming Willis said during an appearance on the “Today” show with Hoda Kotb. “It is hard for the person diagnosed, it is also hard for the family. And it’s no different for Bruce, me or our girls. And when they say it’s a family disease, it really is.”
Heming Willis became emotional as she said it was both a “blessing and a curse” to finally find out her husband’s diagnoses.
“It doesn’t make it any less painful, but just the acceptance and knowledge of what’s happening to Bruce makes it a little bit easier,” the model said, appearing to hold back tears.
When Kotb asked if the actor was aware of his condition, Heming Willis said, “It’s hard to know.”
But Heming Willis said she made sure the two children she shares with the actor – Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 9 – knew about their father’s diagnosis.
“We are a very honest and open household,” Heming Willis said, adding that it was important to explain the disease to them themselves. “If you know what the disease is from a medical perspective, it all kind of makes sense.”
She said she “didn’t want there to be any stigma or shame associated with her father’s diagnosis or any form of dementia.”
Heming Willis, who calls herself her husband’s “care partner” instead of “caretaker,” also said Willis still teaches his youngest children “so much,” including “patience, resilience” and “how to care and love.”
“There’s something really beautiful in the midst of sadness,” she said. “Bruce really wants us to have the joy of what is.”
Willis’ family — including his ex-wife Demi Moore and the former couple’s three adult children — announced last year that the two-time Emmy winner had been diagnosed with aphasia and was retiring from acting.
The family said in a joint statement that Willis “always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and raise awareness of important issues both publicly and privately,” which is why they decided to join him express diagnosis.