Tallulah Willis explains why she and family have been so open about Bruce Willis’ health

Tallulah Willis explains why she and family have been so open about Bruce Willis’ health

Tallulah Willis has candidly revealed why she and her family continue to speak about her father Bruce Willis’ health struggles with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The 29-year-old, who’s the youngest of exes Bruce and Demi Moore’s three children, opened up about her father during an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show on 8 November. Her comments come months after her family – which includes sisters Rumer, 35, and Scout, 32, and Bruce’s second wife, Emma Heming Willis – first revealed that the Die Hard star had the cognitive disease.

Speaking to TV host Drew Barrymore, Tallulah discussed the dynamic of her family, as she also has two younger step sisters – Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, nine – who Bruce shares with Heming Willis. After noting that she wants to be a “comforting source” for her younger siblings, she revealed why her family chooses to be so open about Bruce’s health.

“I think it’s twofold. I think on one hand, it’s who we are as a family,” she said. “But also, it’s really important for us to spread awareness about FTD.”

After noting that she had “no idea” what FTD was when Bruce was first diagnosed, she continued to describe what she and her family are “trying to do” by speaking out about Bruce’s health.

“If we can take something that we’re struggling with as a family and individually, to help other people, to turn it around, to make something beautiful about it, that’s really special for us,” she added.

Tallulah also described her relationship with her father now, and how she’s become more familiar with his everyday life.

“Part of what’s been a really beautiful way for me to heal through this is becoming like an archaeologist to my dad’s stuff," she said, "His world and his little trinkets and doodads.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Barrymore asked Tallulah what “state” Bruce is in amid his battle with FTD. “He is the same, which I think in this regard I’ve learned is the best thing you can ask for,” Tallulah responded. “I see love when I’m with him, and it’s my dad and he loves me, which is really special.”

Earlier this year, Bruce’s family issued a statement about his diagnosis, noting that “challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease”. This came a year after they revealed that he’d be “stepping away” from acting since his symptoms of aphasia were “impacting his cognitive abilities”.

In a joint statement shared with the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration in February, Bruce’s family called FTD a “cruel disease,” while describing why they wanted to bring more awareness to the condition.

“Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research,” they added.

Earlier this year, Talluah also spoke out about her father’s early signs of dementia, before his family officially announced his diagnosis. In an essay published by Vogue in June, she wrote: “I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time. It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak up!’ Die Hard messed with Dad’s ears. Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally.”

Meanwhile, Heming Willis also gave an update on her husband’s condition last month, during an appearance on Today. “Dementia is hard,” she said. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say this is a family disease, it really is.”

The British model also noted that she isn’t sure if her husband is aware of his health condition, explaining: “It’s hard to know.”