Inside Bruce Willis' Relationship With Wife Emma Heming

For years, Bruce Willis was one of Hollywood's go-to guys for characters who are fierce fighters and faithful lovers. If he's falling in love in a film, his relationship will inevitably face a great deal of adversity, whether he's on the run with the most important being on the planet in "The Fifth Element," longing for the love of a woman he just can't reach in "The Sixth Sense," or trying to rescue his estranged wife from terrorists in "Die Hard."

During his 2018 Comedy Central Roast, Bruce referenced his impressive action credentials. "Nothing can keep me down," he said. "I've been attacked by terrorists, asteroids, film critics, music critics, restaurant critics, divorce lawyers, male pattern baldness, and none of it, none of it stopped me, because I am still Bruce f***ing Willis." By contrast, his first marriage was a cakewalk — until those divorce lawyers came calling. After Bruce tied the knot with "G.I. Jane" star Demi Moore in 1987, the Hollywood power couple stayed together for 13 years and celebrated the births of three children: daughters Rumer Willis, Scout Willis, and Tallulah Willis. The amicable exes finalized their divorce in 2000. "I still love Demi. ... We're probably as close now as we ever were," Bruce told Rolling Stone that same year.

Eventually, a new love interest entered the picture: model Emma Heming. Wedding bells, babies, and the blending of two loving families followed, but due to a devastating diagnosis, this devoted couple's love story is bittersweet.

Bruce Willis had to wait to date Emma Heming

Emma Heming's birthplace is Malta, but after her parents split, she and her mother packed their bags and headed to London to build a new life for themselves. This is where her modeling career began. "In the early '90s, my mom entered me into a modeling competition in London called 'The British Elle Supermodel,' which I won," Heming writes on her website. Soon, she was traveling the globe and strutting down the catwalk in designs by Dior, Valentino, Chanel, and other luxury labels. She eventually settled down in California with the first man she thought she would marry.

According to W magazine, when Willis first laid eyes on Heming in 2005, she was engaged to Brent Bolthouse, a successful Hollywood nightclub promoter who appeared on "The Hills." Willis was visiting a gym owned by a friend, celebrity fitness guru Gunnar Peterson, when he saw Heming leaving. "I said, 'Gunnar, let me just say one thing to you. Wow! Who is that?'" Willis recalled on "The Late Show" (via Celebitchy).

Willis eventually got acquainted with Heming, but because she had a fiancé, he remained stuck in the uncomfortable ventilation shaft that is the friendzone until Heming and Bolthouse split in 2007. Heming planned on moving to NYC after the breakup, but Willis convinced her to go on a date with him mere days before she left L.A. "Then we fell mad crazy in love," he recalled to W magazine.

The couple's tropical wedding

While Bruce Willis quickly forged an unbreakable bond with Emma Heming, the "Die Hard" star had expected to live free after his divorce from Demi Moore. Heming made him realize what he was missing out on during his stubbornly single era. "I would say, 'I'm alone, but I'm not lonely.' But I was just kidding myself," he admitted to W magazine. "Then I started hanging around Emma, and on a day-to-day basis my life became much happier."

Willis and Heming tied the knot for the first time in March 2009, inviting some of their loved ones to celebrate with them at the property Willis owned on the islands of Turks and Caicos. According to one of the actor's close friends, composer Robert Kraft, the love Willis' three daughters have for him was evident at the wedding reception. "The speeches those girls gave about their dad were brilliantly emotional," Kraft said. Heming later shared an Instagram photo of herself and Willis ugly-crying as they listened to one wedding speech. Moore also scored an invite to the event, as did her husband at the time, "That '70s Show" star Ashton Kutcher. The Twitter-loving lovebirds made sure everyone knew that they had an absolute blast. "Watching my wife steam my suit while wearing a bikini," Kutcher tweeted ahead of the ceremony. "I love God!"

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Willis and Heming celebrated their union a second time with a civil marriage ceremony.

Bruce Willis and Emma Heming share two kids

When Emma Heming met Bruce Willis, his youngest daughter at the time, Tallulah Willis, was already 12 years old. So there was quite the age gap between Mabel Ray Willis and her stepsisters when she joined the family on April 1, 2012. Bruce was a parenting pro by then, and his goal was to raise Mabel to be caring, compassionate, considerate, and, apparently, non-vampiric. "You have to give them a code," he told Candis a few months after Mabel's birth. "Beginning with things like 'Don't bite people!' That then becomes something like 'It's not okay to be mean. Ever.'"

But Bruce Willis was no strict disciplinarian; he also kept his kids entertained by assuming the role of a comedian at home. "They're a pretty captive audience, you know. They can't run away from you even if they don't like your jokes," he quipped in a 2013 interview with That Shelf. "I love to make my kids laugh, and I still do the dumbest things possible to make 'em laugh." On May 5, 2014, he gained another appreciative audience member: daughter Evelyn Penn Willis.

Bruce established his cozy family comedy club in Bedford Hills, New York. Speaking to Elle Decor in 2017, Heming explained why this is where they chose to raise their children during their younger years. "We wanted our kids to be able to have more room and a yard to run in. ... We've made the whole place a kid-friendly zone."

Motherhood inspired Emma Heming's skincare business

After she stopped modeling, Emma Heming had a difficult time deciding on a new career to pursue. But when she experienced motherhood for the first time, she had a lightbulb moment. "I was using coconut oil and loved it and when Mabel was two months old I had this idea for CocoBaba," she told The Local Moms Network. On the CocoBaba website, Heming recalls deciding to give her skincare routine an overhaul after getting pregnant. Being a mom-to-be made her more conscious of what she was putting on her body, and she'd learned about the versatility of all-natural coconut oil from her mother and grandmother. "I'm really prone to stretch marks, yet it got me through two pregnancies stretch-mark free," she writes.

What Heming didn't like about the oil was the inconvenient container it came in. This inspired her to create her own line of products specifically designed for pregnant women to use on their changing skin. In addition to making packaging improvements, she consulted experts who created formulas that were less greasy than the oil alone. It was also of utmost importance to her that the products only contained safe ingredients.

While Heming cares deeply about her business, it's not her biggest passion in life by a long shot. "I want to focus on the things that bring me joy — my family, making sure I'm healthy and feeling good. Then beneath that comes business," she told The Local Moms Network.

Emma Willis gets along well with Demi Moore

Emma Heming told W magazine that being in a relationship with someone with kids was new territory for her, but Bruce Willis' daughters welcomed her with open arms — as did Demi Moore. "I've been really blessed because from day one it's been comfortable and fun," Heming said. It helped that Willis and his ex-wife remained on good terms after their split; Moore has even joined Bruce and Heming on a few fun family vacations. "If everybody is okay with it — and you're not just faking it — we all win," Bruce told Men's Journal of their friendship.

Heming told The Local Moms Network that she's heard her fair share of horror stories about resentful ex-wives who make living in harmony as a blended family an impossibility. But Moore made sure that she didn't have to worry about discord or division. "She welcomed me into her family like I welcomed her into ours," Heming told Us Weekly. "I have so much respect for how Bruce and Demi worked through their divorce to be able to put their children first."

Moore returned the love on International Women's Day in 2021. She paid tribute to Heming on Instagram, writing, "Her drive, determination and passion is uplifting and the woman that she is absolutely inspiring." Moore revealed that she considers Heming family, and the pair certainly looked the part in a 2022 holiday photo with Bruce and their daughters.

Demi Moore attended their 10-year vow renewal

When Emma Heming and Bruce Willis celebrated a decade of marriage in 2019, they decided to mark the milestone with a vow renewal ceremony. Their daughters, Mabel and Evelyn, were given important roles to play at the event. "It was really for them, to be able to be flower girls, for them to be a part of something that feels kind of monumental," Heming told Us Weekly. Willis' daughters from his previous marriage were in attendance, as was Demi Moore herself. "It was important for her to be there. She was at our first wedding," said Heming. "I loved having her there again. I wouldn't do it without her."

Heming revealed that Mabel and Evelyn were excited not just because they'd been asked to participate in the ceremony, but because they got to spend time with their stepsisters. "The young ones just adore them. We're moving back west, actually, so that we can be closer to them," Heming said. While speaking to The Local Moms Network, she revealed that she'd developed her own special bond with her stepdaughters. "Now they're women, and I can have these incredible conversations with them. Those relationships have really evolved over time," she said.

A few months after Moore helped Willis and Heming celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary, she invited them to the launch party for her memoir, "Inside Out." At the event, the lovebirds posed for a photo with Moore, Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout.

Emma Heming was in two of her husband's movies

After Emma Heming and Bruce Willis went public with their relationship in 2009, a source told Page Six that they first met when Willis asked for models to be cast as minor characters in his 2007 thriller "Perfect Stranger." The insider also claimed that Willis wanted to be present for their auditions, saying, "I guess he needed a date." Per the report, Willis began dating Heming and another model simultaneously after watching their auditions. But Willis insisted that the first time he met Heming was at a gym. While Heming did score a small part in "Perfect Stranger," the couple told W magazine that they'd already become friends by then.

According to Willis, one thing he liked about Heming was that she wasn't pursuing an acting career. However, she did later appear alongside him in the 2013 action-comedy "Red 2." Her character, an administrative employee at an FBI facility, receives a compliment on her blazer — and is shot and killed moments later.

During a press conference for "Red 2," Willis bragged (via Us Weekly), "I get to kiss two women in this film, which I seldom get to do in some of my other work." He told the media that Heming was totally fine with his on-screen lip-locks with co-stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mary-Louise Parker, although he apparently felt the need to defend those steamy scenes before shooting them. "You say, 'Look, it's right in the script,'" he said.

The Willis-Moore clan's crazy quarantine story

At the start of the pandemic, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, and Emma Heming decided that the best place for their blended family to quarantine together was at Moore's Idaho estate. But when Moore shared an Instagram photo of her lockdown crew posing together in matching green-and-white striped PJs, a few key members were missing: Heming and her daughters.

In an April 2020 appearance on the "Dopey" podcast, Scout Willis explained the trio's absence. She revealed that her stepsister Evelyn was at a park when she came across a hypodermic needle on the ground and made a mistake that had to be nightmarish for her parents. "She actually tried to poke her shoe with it and poked her foot," Scout recalled. Heming had to take her daughter to the doctor to get tested for the whole host of horrible things that can lurk on the tip of a discarded syringe. While awaiting the test results, Heming decided to stay in Los Angeles with both of her daughters.

By early May 2020, Heming and the girls had made it to Idaho. She shared an Instagram video of Evelyn learning to ride a bike without training wheels as her dad and older sisters cheered her on. Heming celebrated her birthday the following month. She posted a pic of Moore preparing to light the candles on her birthday cake during a family picnic and captioned it, "It really was a happy birthday for me."

The funny way Emma Heming revealed that her marriage isn't picture-perfect

When Bruce Willis was still basking in the warm glow of newlywed bliss in 2009, he told W magazine that his intense feelings for Emma Heming made it difficult for him to go to work saving the world from asteroids, aliens, etc. "I don't want to be away from Emma at all. It's the most singular relationship I've ever had in my life," he gushed. But when he celebrated his 12th wedding anniversary with Heming in 2021, she confessed to sometimes wishing that she and the "Armageddon" actor could get some real-life astronaut training. "Boy I sure do love this guy to the moon and back! Even though there's been times I would have loved to take him to the moon, drop him off, and come back solo!" she joked on Instagram.

Luckily, Willis can handle a good-natured ribbing. He and Heming watched his ex-wife, Demi Moore, joke about her failed marriage to the action star during his Comedy Central Roast in 2018, and Heming told Closer Weekly that one of the things she loves most about Willis is his sense of humor. His playful side is also a hit with their kids. "I like that he likes to have fun. He's the one out there making snowman, sledding and swimming," she told The Local Moms Network. "He's fun and active, and I am too — I take them places — but he's the rough and tumble dad."

Emma Heming revealed her husband's aphasia and dementia diagnoses

In a March 2022 Instagram post, Emma Heming shared the sad news that Bruce Willis had aphasia. Per Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of the condition are impaired speech and difficulty following conversations. Those with the disorder may also struggle to read and write. "As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," Heming wrote. She also assured the movie star's fans that he was surrounded with plenty of love and support, adding, "We are moving through this as a strong family unit."

Watching a loved one experience cognitive decline is never easy, and in August 2022, Heming revealed that she was doing her best to keep herself distracted and busy with hobbies such as painting, gardening, and exercising. But while she appeared happy and focused in a video that showed her performing these activities, she revealed that she was hurting inside. "My grief can be paralyzing but I'm learning how to live along side it," she wrote. "As my step-daughter Scout Willis told me, grief is the deepest and purest form of love. I hope you find some comfort in that too."

Sadly, Heming had another devastating update to share in February 2023. "Bruce's condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD)," she wrote. "While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."

Emma Heming has called Bruce her 'North Star'

After sharing Bruce Willis' aphasia diagnosis on Instagram, Emma Heming started taking her followers on a trip down memory lane with throwback photos and videos of some of her husband's happiest moments. One of them was Willis' and The Temptations' joint performance of "Under the Boardwalk." Her video served as a reminder that Willis pursued a music career in 1987 and released an album titled "The Return of Bruno."

When she shared the video on her Instagram Story, Heming added the words, "He's my North Star." She elaborated on this sentiment in another post, revealing that one thing that she's always loved about her husband is his fearlessness. "I mean what kind of next level confidence does it take to sing lead with The Temptations?" she wrote. Willis was also opening himself up to potential criticism by using the music legends as backup singers while showcasing his own vocal talent, but in Heming's eyes, his audacity makes him even more of an inspiration. "This guy has always been led by his passion and has never let naysayers stop him from, well, anything," she wrote. "And I have so much respect, love and admiration for that man because of it."

In August 2022, Heming revealed that Willis' love of music hadn't been dimmed by his diagnosis. She shared a video of the actor showing off his harmonica skills during a jam session with Rumer Willis' boyfriend, musician Derek Richard Thomas.

Emma Heming is focused on supporting Bruce Willis

While Emma Heming has been careful to respect Bruce Willis' privacy after sharing his diagnoses, she's decided not to leave his fans completely in the dark about his health. In a February 2023 Instagram post, she assured her followers that she was seeking out the best help available, including the expertise of dementia care specialist Teepa Snow. "She's a loving, compassionate and skilled leader in this space who navigates herself with pure empathy," Heming wrote.

The disorder Willis was diagnosed with, frontotemporal dementia, can cause difficulty speaking and communicating, personality changes, and compulsive habits, per Mayo Clinic. In response to Heming's Instagram post, Snow wrote, "Frontal temporal dementia is never easy but with the right programming and support, it truly is possible to continue living life." She also praised Heming for making sure that Willis' living space was meeting his needs.

Willis and Heming were living in Brentwood Park, California, as of March 2023. According to Page Six, they started selling some of their other properties in anticipation of Willis retiring and bringing in less income. These included their vacation home in Turks and Caicos, their Westchester, New York residence, and their ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho. "[Willis] knew that he wouldn't eventually need multiple estates and apartments to travel between, and that he would instead need to live in a safe environment surrounded by his family," a source said of the $65 million in property sales.

Emma Heming admonished critics and the paparazzi

Emma Heming takes down trolls who come for her and her husband with a yippee-ki-yay K.O. She's learned the art of the verbal smackdown from the best, as demonstrated by the way she clapped back at critics who were confoundingly complaining about Heming sharing her thoughts about grief.

On her Instagram Story, Heming shared a screenshot of a cruel comment suggesting that she needed to stop sharing her struggles on social media. "When you marry an old man DECADES older than you are, you become their caregivers. That's what you signed up for deal with it," it read. Heming fired back, "In the words of the great, philosophical, insightful Bruce Willis ... 'Ah, f*** em.'" She was also accused of using her husband's frontotemporal dementia (FTD) diagnosis to clout chase, and she shared her thoughts about this in a March 2023 Instagram video. "I'm always going to advocate for my husband. And while I'm at it, I'm going to raise awareness about FTD, and for caregivers, who are unsung heroes out there," she said. "So, watch this space, because I didn't come to play."

Heming also took aim at the paparazzi in an Instagram Reel. When Willis stepped out to grab a cup of coffee with some friends, the photogs got overly eager to film him speaking and started shouting at him. Heming shamed them for showing a lack of compassion and respect and calmly pleaded, "Give him his space."

Emma Heming addressed speculation about their life

In March 2023, Radar claimed that Demi Moore had moved in with Bruce Willis and Emma Heming to serve as a source of support for her ex-husband and his wife. "Demi has been a rock for the family and is determined to make sure every day Bruce has left on earth will be filled with love," a source told the webloid. But while Bruce and his wife might be friendly with his ex, Heming refuted the story that they were all cohabitating. "Let's nip this one in the bud. This is so dumb. Please stop," she wrote on her Instagram Story.

Amid the stress of dealing with internet trolls, invasive photographers, and false gossip, Bruce and Moore's blended family had cause to celebrate in December 2022 when Rumer Willis announced that she and her boyfriend, Derek Richard Thomas, were expecting their first child. Their joyful news meant that Bruce and Moore would soon get to celebrate being first-time grandparents. "He is happy about becoming a grandpa," an insider told People. "He loves having a big family."

No matter what the future brings, the Willis-Moore clan will always have Bruce's wise words to guide them. "Here's the trick: Try not to take your time on earth for granted," he said in a 2007 "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" interview (via Us Weekly). "Death waits for us all. The only answer is to get out there and live each day."