Bruce Willis is known as one of Hollywood’s most iconic ‘tough guys’, having spent decades taking down villains and battling it out in a series of high-octane action movies.
But when it comes to his own personal fights, the actor is proving that he is more than capable of admitting when he needs support – turning to his ‘blended family unit’ to help him through one of his toughest battles yet: a devastating brain condition diagnosis.
Since announcing that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, an illness that affects sufferers’ ability to speak, write, and understand language, in March of this year, the 67-year-old Die Hard star has taken a big step back from the spotlight as he attempts to deal with the brutal symptoms of his condition.
However, this week, Bruce offered a rare glimpse into what his life has been like over the past nine months and – perhaps most importantly of all – the people who have surrounded him during that time: ex-wife Demi Moore, current wife Emma Heming, and their blended brood of five daughters.
Demi, 60, took to Instagram on Tuesday morning to share the first image of her former husband since his aphasia diagnosis, posting a sweet, candid snap of beaming Bruce posing in front of a Christmas tree alongside his former and current spouse, as well as daughters Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, Tallulah, 28, Mabel Ray, 10, and Evelyn Penn, eight.
Bruce Willis’ ex-wife, Demi Moore, and his new wife, Emma Heming Willis, and their five kids are supporting the actor through his battle with the brain condition aphasia
Demi gave a glimpse into their unique – but strong – bond when she shared a series of sweet snaps that showed her hanging out with Bruce, Emma, and their kids on Tuesday morning
Bruce shares three girl – Rumer (second from left), 34, Scout (right), 31, and Tallulah (center), 28 – with Demi (second from right) and two – Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, eight – with Emma (left)
While Bruce’s big grin served as a positive indication about his wellbeing, the photo also sent another clear message about the people in his life who he holds nearest and dearest – and highlighted his enduring bond with his ex-wife, Demi, which looked to be stronger than ever, decades after they divorced.
The Die Hard star was married to Demi, 60, from 1987 to 1998 – but despite going their separate ways more then two decades ago, the two have remained firm friends – and when Bruce got re-married to Emma, 44, in 2009, Demi was nothing but supportive, even attending the wedding with her own partner at the time, Ashton Kutcher.
Now, 13 years after Bruce and Emma tied the knot, Demi said she considered Bruce’s wife and their two kids part of her own ‘family,’ as she gave an inside look into their unique – but strong – bond.
As Bruce continues to fight the debilitating brain condition, FEMAIL has uncovered everything you need to know about the powerful women supporting him through the battle. Bruce is seen with three of his daughters
‘We are FAMILY,’ she wrote in the caption of the photos, which showed them all enjoying a meal together, posing as a group, and playing with Demi’s dog Pilaf. ‘Getting into the holiday spirit.’
Bruce looked as happy and as relaxed as ever, grinning from ear to ear alongside his family in one of the shots and holding onto his wife’s hand during a tender, loving moment in another.
Over the years, Bruce has spoken about his blended family on numerous occasions and he has made it clear that his five children are his top priority. He previously explained how he and Demi made a ‘lifelong commitment’ to put any jealousy behind them and stay close for their kids.
As Bruce continues to fight the debilitating brain condition with his ex-wife, current spouse, and five daughters by his side, FEMAIL has uncovered everything you need to know about the powerful women supporting him through the battle.
Inside Bruce and Demi’s 10-year romance: The pair married in Vegas on a whim but split after a decade together
Bruce and Demi (pictured in 1994) wed at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 21, 1987
The former couple’s eldest daughter, Rumer, was born in 1988, followed by Scout in 1991 and Tallulah in 1994
Bruce and Demi met at the Los Angeles premiere of the 1987 action comedy Stakeout, which starred actor Emilio Estevez — Demi’s then-fiancé.
The actress, who was previously married to singer Freddy Moore from 1981 to 1985, started dating Bruce shortly after her split from Emilio.
After just three months together, they wed at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on November 21, 1987.
The pair (seen in 1997) announced their split in 1998 after a decade of marriage, and their divorce was finalized in 2000, but the remained committed to being best friends and co-parents
‘We were moving to the gambling tables when Bruce said, “I think we should get married,”‘ she wrote in her 2019 memoir, Inside Out.
‘We’d been joking about it on the flight there, but suddenly it didn’t seem like he was kidding.’
Their eldest daughter, Rumer, was born in 1988, followed by Scout in 1991 and Tallulah in 1994.
Bruce and Demi announced their split in 1998, after a decade of marriage, and their divorce was finalized in 2000.
That same year, the Die Hard actor opened up about their enduring friendship and his dedication to co-parenting.
‘I still love Demi. We’re very close,’ he told Rolling Stone. ‘We have three children whom we will continue to raise together, and we’re probably as close now as we ever were.
‘We realize we have a lifelong commitment to our kids. Our friendship continues. The institution has been set aside.
‘It’s difficult to live your life and marriage under a magnifying glass, which is what happens to movie star couples.’
How Bruce overcame his jealousy after Demi moved on with Ashton so the two could remain friends
Bruce forged a bond with Demi’s new husband, Ashton Kutcher (seen together with Bruce and Demi’s children in 2003), whom she married in 2005. Demi and Ashton split in 2011
Bruce (seen with Demi earlier this year) said actor Will Smith gave him an important lesson. ‘He said, “Dude, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to get the kids and all the spouses or the girlfriend together. You’ve got to show your kids it’s OK.” ‘It was like a light went on’
In 2005, Demi married actor Ashton, and while Bruce eventually became friends with his ex-wife’s new husband, they both admitted it was an adjustment at first.
Bruce, who remained single for a decade after his divorce, credited his friend Will Smith with helping him get over his jealousy when Demi and Ashton started dating in 2003.
‘During some very dark hours he talked to me about it,’ he told Playboy in 2007. ‘He said, “Dude, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to get the kids and all the spouses or the girlfriend together. You’ve got to show your kids it’s OK.”
‘It was like a light went on. Ding. So Will, thanks. And thanks for all those good movies you’re making.’
Ashton shared a similar statement during an interview with Live magazine, saying: ‘People ask us, “How do you guys get on so well?” Well, I don’t like everything Bruce does, and I’m sure he doesn’t think everything I do is great.
‘But being with Bruce is normal to me now. We go scuba-diving, skiing, we hang out with the girls together, we watch movies, we talk about sport.’
A glimpse into their blended family now: Demi was nothing but supportive after Bruce fell in love with Emma
In 2009, Bruce married Emma (left), an English model and actress, on the Turks and Caicos islands, but he continued to remain close with Demi (right)
Bruce and his wife Emma have two daughters, Mabel, nine, and Evelyn, seven, together
‘We’ve become like a tribe,’ Bruce said of their blended family while speaking with W Magazine that year. He is seen with wife Emma earlier this year
In 2009, Bruce married Emma, an English model and actress, on the Turks and Caicos islands – with Demi and Ashton among their wedding guests.
‘We’ve become like a tribe,’ Bruce said of their blended family while speaking with W Magazine that year.
Emma added that she met Demi and Ashton early on in her relationship to Bruce, saying she was ‘really blessed because from day one it’s been comfortable and fun.’
The Unbreakable star noted that people are often baffled by his friendship with Demi.
He explained: ‘It’s generated a lot of interest because everyone can understand resentment and envy in the breakup of a marriage, but they don’t understand how I can get along with my ex like that.
Emma and Demi have also forged a close bond and the Ghost actress regularly spends quality time with Bruce’s two youngest children during their family get-togethers
In 2020, Bruce and Demi made headlines after they spent four weeks in quarantine with their daughters, two of their daughters’ boyfriends, and her assistant amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Bruce’s wife Emma was not quarantined with her husband and his ex-wife
‘Demi and I made a choice to put the kids first, and we’re really lucky that it turns out we all have fun together.’
Demi and Ashton ended up splitting in 2011, and they finalized their divorce two years later.
Meanwhile, Bruce and Emma went on to welcome their daughter Mabel in 2012. Two years later, they had Evelyn.
During an interview with Larry King in March 2015, Rumer praised her parents for getting along and making it a point to remain a family after they divorced and married other people.
‘They always made an effort to do all of the family events still together and made such an effort to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact,’ she said.
In 2020, Bruce and Demi made headlines after they spent four weeks in quarantine with their daughters, two of their daughters’ boyfriends, and her assistant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family had a great time wearing matching pajamas and posing with the same books while stuck inside
Scout later revealed on a podcast that her stepmother and younger sisters weren’t with them because one of the girls poked herself with a need in the park and was awaiting test results
‘They made such an effort to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact,’ Rumer said of her parents in 2015
The actor’s wife and two youngest daughters were not with them, but Scout later explained that there was a simple explanation for their absence.
‘My stepmom was going to come up here with my little sisters,’ she said on the Dopey podcast.
‘But my younger sister, who is now actually seven years old, at a park, had never gotten a talk about not f**king with hypodermic needles that she found, so she actually tried to poke her shoe with it and poked her foot.
‘So my stepmom had to be in LA waiting to get the results from taking her to the doctor so my dad came up here early and then travel got crazy so my stepmom stayed in LA with my little sisters.’
Back in April, when Bruce announced that he was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia – a condition caused by brain damage that affects one’s ability to speak, write, and understand language – Demi, Emma, and his five kids shared a joint statement to Bruce’s ‘amazing supporters.’
In April, when Bruce announced that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, Demi, Emma, and his five kids shared a joint statement to Bruce’s ‘amazing supporters’
‘We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,’ it read
‘To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,’ they wrote.
‘As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.
‘This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.
‘We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, “Live it up” – and together we plan to do just that.’
The statement was signed ‘Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn.’