Bruce Willis' Wife Emma Heming Gets Emotional Recalling Going Public With Actor's Dementia Diagnosis

The 'Die Hard' star's family revealed his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis in 2023.

Emma Heming Willis is candidly reflecting on the moment her family shared Bruce Willis' frontotemporal dementia diagnosis. 

In 2023, Emma, Bruce's ex-wife, Demi Moore, and his three oldest daughters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Willis, shared the news with the world  -- via a joint statement -- that a year after the star's aphasia diagnosis, his condition progressed. 

"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," the statement said in part. 

Rumer Willis, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Scout Willis, Emma Heming Willis and Tallulah Willis - Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for goop

FTD is a condition connected to dementia that primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and impacts a personality's personality, behavior and language, according to Mayo Clinic

On Tuesday, Emma attended the AFTD 2024 Education Conference where she revealed the emotional way her and Bruce's young daughters, Mabel, 12, and Evelyn, 9, inspired the family's decision to go public. 

"First and foremost, it had ben so isolating and I was trying to keep it quiet and really it was about our daughters," she said. "I never wanted them to think that this was some sort of family secret that we have to keep. Like it was very important for us to come out and say what it was. I wanted them to see us go out and raise awareness and on a global scale, because that is the kind of reach that their father has. And I know that he would want us to do that. So that was very important."

Emma -- who has been married to Bruce since 2009 and is his primary caretaker -- cried as she share the amount of weight that was lifted from her shoulders after going public and "taking her power back." 

"I could breathe," she said through tears. "I could really exhale and just sort of feel this weight lift off my shoulders. Everything changed for the better once we were able to disclose his diagnosis. I was able to seek the support that I so desperately needed for my husband, for our whole family."

She continued, "I wanted to do something good out of something that was plain awful."

Emma also noted the importance of sharing the moment with Bruce's ex-wife and their three daughters, noting that despite the pain, they are closer than ever. 

"He's very loved within our family," she said. "And thankfully for us, and our family, we've always been close. To say that we're even closer is definitely possible for sure."

At the end of the talk, Emma reiterated how amazing the sense of community was for those whose families are caring for and living with someone with FTD. 

"It's a very traumatic experience," she said as she cried. "But there's so much beauty that comes from it."

Since sharing his diagnosis, Emma has publicly taken to social media to debunk myths and theories abut Bruce's condition, but also mark the beautiful moments with her husband, including their 15th wedding anniversary

Last month, Emma stepped out with Bruce's daughter, Tallulah, to celebrate him at the TCM's 30th anniversary screening of Pulp Fiction.