A good six months after US actor Bruce Willis (68, "Pulp Fiction", "Die Hard") was diagnosed with dementia, his wife spoke about the star's illness in a television interview.
"It's hard for the person with the diagnosis, it's also hard for the family," said Emma Heming Willis (45) on Monday on the "Today" show on NBC. It was difficult to say whether Willis was fully aware of his condition, the mother of two said in an emotional conversation.
It was both a blessing and a curse to receive the diagnosis, said Heming Willis. But now she would better understand what was happening to Willis and accept the illness.
Diagnosis: Frontotemporal dementia
In March 2022, the family announced that Willis suffered from aphasia and was ending his film career due to illness. Aphasias are language disorders, such as speaking, understanding, writing or reading, that can occur as a result of various illnesses. Then last February, relatives announced that the actor had received a more precise diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
In the disease, nerve cells are initially broken down in the forehead and temple areas of the brain (fronto-temporal lobe). According to the German Alzheimer's Society, this is initially noticeable in many sufferers because they appear listless and irritable. Later, memory impairment occurs.
Heming Willis said she spoke openly about the disease with her 11- and 9-year-old daughters. Bruce is a gift that gives them love, patience and resilience. She has made it her job to provide information about this form of dementia and its consequences.
The British native and Willis have been married since 2009. Willis has three adult daughters from his first marriage to actress Demi Moore (60).