Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah is opening up about how her father’s battle with frontotemporal dementia has deeply impacted her and the family.
Tallulah, 29, said she could sense something was off about the Hollywood actor before he was first diagnosed with aphasia in March 2022.
"I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time," Tallulah admitted in an article she wrote for Vogue.
"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."
After Bruce, 68, had two babies with Emma Heming Willis, Tallulah confessed she started to feel isolated from her father and figured he’d "lost interest" in her.
"Though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, my adolescent brain tortured itself with some faulty math: I’m not beautiful enough for my mother, I’m not interesting enough for my father," she wrote.
The "Die Hard" actor’s daughter continued to say she would avoid Bruce due to these thoughts and said she’s "not proud" of her behavior toward her father.
Bruce Willis and Tallulah Willis. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage) (Getty Images)
Tallulah noted she was fighting her own health battle simultaneously.
"For the last four years, I have suffered from anorexia nervosa, which I’ve been reluctant to talk about because, after getting sober at age 20, restricting food has felt like the last vice that I got to hold on to," she shared.
While Tallulah suffered from anorexia nervosa, she also battled an ADHD diagnosis and body dysmorphia.
As her father’s health steadily declined, Tallulah said Bruce was "quietly struggling" while she was wrapped up in her own health issues.
She reflected on the moment the Hollywood actor’s health battle hit her "painfully."
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In the summer of 2021, Tallulah attended a wedding at Martha’s Vineyard and the bride’s father made a moving speech.
"Suddenly I realized that I would never get that moment, my dad speaking about me in adulthood at my wedding. It was devastating," she noted.
Shortly after that realization, Tallulah said she had to step away from the dinner table and "wept in the bushes."
While Tallulah focuses on her own recovery, she’s also working on her relationship with the "Armageddon" actor.
"I can bring him an energy that’s bright and sunny, no matter where I’ve been," she remarked.
"In the past I was so afraid of being destroyed by sadness, but finally I feel that I can show up and be relied upon. I can savor that time, hold my dad’s hand, and feel that it’s wonderful," Tallulah added.
"I know that trials are looming, that this is the beginning of grief, but that whole thing about loving yourself before you can love somebody else — it’s real."
Tallulah is the youngest daughter of Bruce and his ex-wife Demi Moore. The pair share two other children, Rumer and Scout.
Bruce has largely stayed out of the spotlight since it was revealed in March 2022 that he was retiring from acting.
Heming Willis, Moore and their daughters announced in a joint statement that Bruce would be retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder that affects a person's ability to express and understand written and verbal language.