Inside Rumer Willis' Battle With Sobriety

Rumer Willis, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, has been in the industry since she was a child. Thanks to her famous parents, Willis has endured a lot of negative press and criticism. Everything from her appearance to her photoshoots were criticized. Taking on the press and trolls has been difficult for Willis, who has said she struggled with body image issues during her teenage years, per HuffPost.

Willis has been forced to grow up fast in the public eye and has been trying to chart her own path like many other artists who grew up with famous parents, but that doesn't mean she doesn't suffer from demons like ordinary people. The former Empire star has had a bad history with drugs and drinking, but she didn't let her problems fester or take over her life. Willis has taken steps to address her problems. Here's the truth about her battle with sobriety.

Rumer Willis is four years sober

On Dec. 31, 2020, Rumer Willis shared a milestone with fans on Instagram. She's four years sober.

"4 Years Sober Today!!!" Willis captioned two selfies on Instagram. "So grateful for choosing myself above any need to distract or numb out. Especially this past year when so much has come up for not just myself but the world."

In the selfies, Willis can be seen holding up four fingers to signify how many years she's been sober. She added that she felt "immense gratitude" even when she had "no escape" from her feelings during challenging times.

The actress, who won Dancing With the Stars in 2015, encouraged others to stay positive on their journeys, while acknowledging it's not a "one size fits all process."

This isn't the first time Willis opened up about her sobriety. She told People in 2017 that she was over people assuming she had substance abuse problems. "My decision to become sober wasn't out of a need necessarily, it was more just that I did 'sober January' and I just decided to keep going," said Willis. "I didn't say I was sober from anything."

Substance abuse runs in Rumer Willis' family

Rumer Willis already knows about the struggles of maintaining a healthier lifestyle, as she has witnessed her mother, Demi Moore, battle alcoholism and substance abuse for decades. Moore was candid about her battle with addiction in her 2019 memoir Inside Out and was also outspoken about it while promoting her book. Rumer, along with her sisters, Tallulah and Scout, joined their mother for an episode of Red Table Talk hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones in November 2019, where they discussed how Moore's addiction impacted them growing up.

"It was like the sun went down, like a monster came," Tallulah said on the show. "I remember, there's just the anxiety that would come up in my body when I could sense her eyes shutting a little bit more, the way she was speaking, or she would be a lot more affectionate with me if she wasn't sober."

Rumer added that Moore's behaviour was "jarring," and her refusal to get help caused their relationship to deteriorate after Moore suffered a seizure while partying with her and her sisters in 2012 (via The New York Times). Moore said all three of her daughters had shunned her and that caused her to finally get help for her substance abuse issues with a stint in rehab.

Rumer Willis helped her sister Tallulah get sober

Rumer Willis's younger sister, Tallulah Willis, was also an alcoholic and dealt with body issues when she was a teen. In an essay for Teen Vogue in 2015, Tallulah wrote that growing up she was "a big tornado of doubt and self-hate." She felt like she did not fit in with her famous household and her problems exacerbated that fact when she went to college.

"In college the depression became overwhelming, I didn't sleep or want to talk to anyone," Tallulah wrote. "I was so removed from my body and from my mind that it was like I was living in a cardboard replica of what my life should be."

Drug use went hand-in-hand with Tallulah's drinking — something Rumer witnessed firsthand. "She lived with me for a little while and I was like 'There are three wine bottles on the bedside table' and then all of a sudden my medicine was going missing," Rumer recalled of her sister on Red Table Talk. "So then I was like 'I love you, you cannot stay with me anymore.'"

Both Rumer and Scout decided to intervene when they saw Tallulah almost overdose on drugs (via People). They brought Tallulah to live with their mother, Demi Moore, and it was then she decided to get treatment. Rumer cited that her sister's decision to get clean was what brought their family closer together and has undoubtedly been a driving force as to why she has stayed sober, too.