Bruce Willis had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and now, his wife Emma Heming, is pleading with paparazzi who tried to take photos of the actor in public.
She said in a March 4 Instagram video, “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. I’m just seeing headlines, and there’s a video of my husband out getting some coffee with some friends that did a stand-up job with protecting him.”
She also has a request for those taking his photos. The 44-year-old said, “It’s clear that there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put forth. 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,” Emma said, “but maybe just keep your space.”
Emma and Bruce have two daughters together: Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8. She also has something to say to those who’ve been calling out catchphrases from his famous movies whenever they see the actor.
“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,” she added. “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 also captioned her message, “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.”
Last year, the family announced that the actor was suffering from aphasia and was retiring from the entertainment industry. Last month, they gave an update regarding his condition through an Instagram message signed by the “Ladies of Willis/Moore.”
It read, “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.”
It added, “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.”