Emma Heming Willis, the wife of actor Bruce Willis, demanded that the paparazzi “journalists” just “keep your space” after they followed the 67-year-old actor. Willis was recently diagnosed with dementia, making the paparazzi’s behavior horrid and unacceptable.
Heming Willis spoke about the incident in a video posted to Instagram. In it, she recounted a recent incident where the paparazzi surrounded Bruce Willis and tried to draw a statement out of him during one of his rare public appearances. He had met with a group of friends for coffee in Santa Monica.
Speaking about the incident and demanding the paparazzi leave her husband alone, Heming Willis said “If you are someone who is looking after someone with dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and to navigate them safely, even just to get a cup of coffee. It’s clear that there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put worth. So this one is going out to the photographers and video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about. Just keep your space.”
Continuing, she added “I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space. Please don’t be yelling at my husband, asking how he’s doing, whatever. The woo-hooing and the yippee-ki-yay’s — just don’t do it. Give him the 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 shared the video with the caption “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 💞
#ftdawareness #dementiaawareness #caregivingtips #buildingcommunity“.
The video came shortly after the Willis family announced that Bruce’s latest diagnosis, saying:
As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months. Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update.
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.
FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. 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.
Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org). And for those of you who have been fortunate enough to not have any personal experience with FTD, we hope that you will take the time to learn about it, and support AFTD’s mission in whatever way you can.
Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.
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