Rumours about Bruce Willis suffering from dementia had been doing the rounds for a while. The actor’s family recently put an end to these rumours, revealing that Willis has actually been diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder that prevents sufferers from comprehending or producing language.
“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,” read a statement shared by the actor’s ex-wife, Demi Moore.
It continued, “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,” the statement continues. “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,” concluded the statement signed by Willis’ daughters Rumer, Tallulah, Scout, Mabel, and Evelyn, as well as the actor’s wife, Emma Heming, and ex-wife Demi Moore.
Following the actor’s diagnosis, filmmaker Kevin Smith issued an apology to Bruce Willis for some “petty” comments he made about the actor over a decade ago, when the two worked together in Cop Out, an action-comedy film Smith himself directed.
“Long before any of the Cop Out stuff, I was a big Bruce Willis fan – so this is really heartbreaking to read,” wrote Smith in response to the news about Willis’ aphasia diagnosis.
The director added, “He loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him,” declaring, “I feel like an a—hole for my petty complaints from 2010. So sorry to BW and his family.”
In 2011 Indie Wire reported that during an interview on Marc Maron’s podcast, Smith said that working with Bruce Willis on the set of Cop Out “was difficult,” stating, “I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where, one component is not in the box at all.”
Smith elaborated, “It was f—king soul crushing. I mean, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him.’ No, but I had no f—king help from this dude whatsoever.”
The filmmaker would even go on to admit that had it not been for comedian Tracy Morgan, who co-starred alongside Bruce Willis in Cop Out, he may have killed himself whilst making the movie.
“Tracy Morgan, I would lay down in traffic for,” Smith said at the time. “Were it not for Tracy, I might’ve killed myself or someone else in the making of that movie.”
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