It turns out Bruce Willis has been secretly struggling with symptoms of aphasia, a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, for a lot longer than anyone may have thought.
According to The Sun, the 67-year-old actor has been dealing with brain function issues for nearly 20 years before his family announced that he was diagnosed with aphasia and needed to step away from his career. While the news may have been quite a shock to many people, an insider close to the family told the outlet that they knew this was coming and had been preparing for the “inevitable” for a long time :
“People who have been close to the family over these last twenty years or so knew this day was coming and see now that the inevitable has finally happened, Bruce is stepping away from acting and publicly acknowledging what’s going on with him. But for Demi and the kids, this has been an almost eighteen-year journey from first noticing that something was wrong to Bruce finally accepting that he has to transition into retirement. Bruce’s grown daughters have known about this situation since 2005 or 2006 and they have been utterly sympathetic every step of the way. Bruce has worked with his slowly worsening condition for years, but it stopped being something anybody wanted to hide anymore.”
Ultimately, the family just seems “proud” and “happy” that The Sixth Sense star was able to work as long as he did:
“Nobody in the family has been caught off guard by it. If anything, they’re all happy Bruce was able to work and make a living as long as he could, and nobody’s ruling out that he could come back for special appearances or events if he’s up to it. But they’re officially in a new phase now where keeping Bruce as comfortable and out of pain as possible is the new priority, instead of keeping his acting jobs going.”
The insider added:
“They’ve had years to brace themselves for his retirement, and everybody says they are so proud of Bruce that he was able to work this long after first becoming ill and addressing his symptoms.”
As we previously reported, those cognitive issues still have made it pretty difficult for him to work in the series of low-budget films that he’s been starring in. It seemed like his condition worsened over the last couple of years and caused some concerning incidents on set, with Lala Kent, who played his daughter in Hard Kill, revealing he fired a gun two times on set. Scary!
Nevertheless, Bruce has starred in 22 movies in three years, primarily working for Randall Emmett/Furla Oasis and Corey Large’s 308 Entertainment Inc. In order to have him keep acting, the Die Hard star’s representatives at CAA reportedly limited his time on set to only two days, and never worked over eight hours. However, sources also told The Los Angeles Times he was often done on film sets after four hours – and still made as much as $2 million! Damn!
But some of that money often went to others who worked with Bruce to help him get through shooting. According to The LA Times, his longtime assistant Stephen J. Eads made up to $200,000 per movie to be his handler on set. But he wasn’t the only one! Adam Huel Potter also earned up to $4,150 a week on the film Open Source to read Bruce’s lines to him through an earpiece and even received “an on-screen speaking role.”
It really seemed like a team effort here…
Someone else who has stuck by Bruce’s side through this time? His ex-wife Demi Moore. Another source told The Sun that she has been very supportive of him and his wife Emma Heming over the years, saying:
“Demi Moore and her small group of friends in Los Angeles have been completely helpful to Bruce and Emma as they make this transition, and it’s been very heartwarming to see. Demi is, in many ways, still Bruce’s closest and maybe only friend, especially since a lot of the men he came up with within the business have moved onto their own retirements. But because of the bond they have through their daughters, Demi has been with Bruce on every step of this journey, starting with his first serious symptoms which only showed up years after he and Demi divorced.”
In fact, the insider noted that his current partner “couldn’t have done this” without the 59-year-old actress:
“People like to paint Demi as this selfish, type-A personality like one of her old nineties movie characters but what she has done to keep Bruce protected, safe, and able to work during these years should qualify her for sainthood. She’s an amazing woman and created a support system so that Bruce could keep acting and Emma could keep him comfortable and happy. Emma couldn’t have done this without Demi.”
We love that Demi has been able to stick by their side no matter what through everything.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments.
[Image via Team Coco/YouTube]