Emma Heming Willis, a fierce defender of husband Bruce Willis, showed she’s just as protective of herself Wednesday, warning trolls claiming she’s using his dementia diagnosis to promote herself that she “didn’t come to play.”
“I just saw something about me getting my ‘five minutes,’ which is great, which means that you’re listening,” she said in an Instagram video addressing critics. “So, I’m going to take my five minutes and I’m gonna turn it into 10 because I’m always going to advocate for my husband.”
Willis, a professional model, married the “Die Hard” star in 2009. Since revealing her husband’s diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, in February, she said, some people have decried her as a fame-seeker.
She’s not having it.
“While I’m at it, I’m going to raise awareness around FTD and for caregivers who are our unsung heroes out there,” she continued in her video. “And then, I am gonna turn my grief and my anger and my sadness and do something good around something that feels less than.”
“So watch this space,” she added, “because I didn’t come to play.”
A few days earlier, Willis asked paparazzi to keep their distance and stop badgering her husband with questions.
The actor’s family announced his retirement in 2022 after an aphasia diagnosis, then confirmed its progression to FTD last month.
“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces,” the family said in a statement at the time. “While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis. FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone.”
The family statement added that Willis would raise awareness about FTD himself if he could. His wife has taken on that effort instead.
“I put my family’s needs above my own, which I found does not make me any kind of hero,” Emma Heming Willis told The Bump in an interview published in May 2022. “We just love spending time with each other and we know that time is precious, and I don’t take that for granted.”