What You Don't Know About Demi Moore

This article contains references to drug use, addiction, sexual assault, sex trafficking, child abuse, and suicide.

Demi Moore is more than just a talented actor. She is also a trail-blazer, a dedicated mother, and a survivor of childhood abuse. Raised in a home that had very little money, she had no idea that she would grow up to become one of the richest women in Hollywood. In fact, at one point in the 1990s, she held the mantle of the highest-paid female actor of all time, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Known for her outstanding movie roles in films like "Ghost" and "G.I Jane," the actor's legacy has undoubtedly been sealed as a scene-stealing icon.

The celeb, who got her big break in the 1984 film "St. Elmo's Fire," was easily the most successful actor to come out of the beloved "Brat Pack" of the 1980s. She gained her stardom by taking risks, appearing in daring films like "Striptease" and "Indecent Proposal" that got people talking. Her personal life was also a heavy topic of conversation in the media, as the public obsessed over her romances with A-list actors such as Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher. Today, the actor leads a quieter existence, yet she continues to snag complex roles in movies and television.

Despite leading such a public life, there's a lot of fascinating info about Moore that you probably never knew about. These are some of the most interesting — and at times heartbreaking — facts about the beloved actor.

Demi Moore was named after a beauty product

Who would have known that Demi Moore was named after a beauty product? According to The Guardian, The "Empire" star got the unique name "Demi" from an Italian shampoo called "Demetria," that her mother found in a magazine. As the "Ghost" star reveals in her memoir "Inside Out," her mother was super into beauty, so it makes sense that she would be named after a shampoo. "She was always reaching for whatever was glamorous," Moore wrote. "... She got my name from a beauty product."

Interestingly, "Moore" is not her maiden name. Instead, it was the last name of her first husband, Freddy Moore, who she married when she was just a teenager, per US Magazine. Although her relationship with Freddy wasn't meant to be, it at least gave her the iconic last name that we all know her as today. According to The Guardian, the star's full birth name was actually Demetria Gene Guynes.

She had a complicated relationship with her mom

Demi Moore's mother, Virginia King, was only 18 when she gave birth to her. In a lot of ways, her mom wasn't prepared for the responsibilities that came with being a parent. According to the Daily Mail, King would allegedly behave inappropriately with Moore, such as taking her to bars at a young age so that she could get the attention of older men.

But the unacceptable behavior didn't end there. Tragically, the young mother once allegedly sold Moore for $500 to a man who then raped her in her home. She was just fifteen years old. The actor opened up about the incident in her memoir "Inside Out" (via The Mirror) and revealed how heartbreaking it was that her mother would put her through that kind of danger. ""For decades, I didn't even think of it as rape," she wrote. "I thought of it as something I caused." The experience left her with PTSD and anxiety and also contributed to her eating disorder.

She sat down with Diane Sawyer for an interview with "Good Morning America" to discuss the tragic incident. When asked if she really believed her mother had intentionally sold the teenager for such a purpose, her response was on the hopeful side. "I think, in my deep heart, no. I don't think it was a straightforward transaction," she said. "But ... she still did give him the access and put me in harm's way."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The bombshell that changed her childhood

Moore's whole world was flipped upside down when she learned that the man who had raised her was not her biological father. As revealed in "Inside Out" (via US Weekly), she put two-and-two together after reading a marriage certificate dated the year after she was born – her biological father was actually a man named Charlie Harmon, not Danny Guynes, the man who had raised her. The fallout was cruel, and Guynes left the family shortly after. In her memoir, she recalled, "My mother dropped the bomb the second we walked in the door: 'Demi knows.' ... In no time, she had a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and she seemed high on the drama of the situation."

Tragically, the man she'd known as her father for the majority of her childhood later died by suicide just before Moore's 18th birthday (via Metro). On Father's Day, 2022, she posted an old picture with him on her Instagram page beside a heartwarming caption. "Remembering my dad today," she wrote. "Feeling so much gratitude as I look at this picture seeing the comfort and strength of his loving protective reassuring arm. Happy Father's Day."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Moore's troubled teenage marriage

Per "Inside Out" (via Daily Mail), the "Indecent Proposal" star was just shy of 16 when she met the man who would become her first husband, Freddy Moore. He was 29 when they met and was already married to his high school sweetheart at the time. But shortly after meeting the future movie star, he left his wife for her. It wasn't long before he put a ring on Demi's finger, and Demi Guynes became the one and only Demi Moore. According to US Magazine, they were together from 1980-1985.

Reflecting on their relationship in her memoir "Inside Out" (via People), Demi recalled sleeping with another man the night before her wedding with Freddy. But what led her to make such a decision? "Because I couldn't face the fact that I was getting married to distract myself from grieving the death of my father," she revealed in her book. "Because I felt there was no room to question what I'd already put in motion. I couldn't get out of the marriage, but I could sabotage it."

Her incredible Net Worth

In an interview with The Guardian in 2007, Demi Moore revealed that she grew up in a family that experienced a great deal of financial insecurity. In a 1996 profile with People, the star even described herself as having been a trailer park kid. Her family was always on the move, and in time, Moore would be on the move too — at least, professionally. While most teens get their first jobs at outlet malls and burger joints, the "Ghost" star took the leap by pursuing modeling and acting. It paid off. By the mid-'90s, Moore became the highest-paid woman in Hollywood history at the time when she was paid $12.5 million for "Striptease." Speaking to Variety, she reflected that her massive paycheck was as much of a victory as it was a curse. "My salary ... became something that I got punished for as opposed to celebrated," she said.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, as of 2022 the star had an impressive net worth of 200 million dollars. Being the good person she is, she refuses to keep all that money to herself and insists on giving back as much as she possibly can. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moore is quite a philanthropist. She has done a lot of charity work, and continues to help out in any way she can. Notably in 2012, along with ex-husband Ashton Kutcher, she co-founded Thorn, a foundation focused on developing technological approaches to end child sex trafficking

She was a high school dropout

Per Vanity Fair, Demi Moore was only 16 when she dropped out of school so she could make it in Hollywood as a model and actor. According to the actor, her parents never placed any great value on education, and her mother never tried to convince her to stay in school. Eager to make it as a Hollywood starlet, she gave up her education and a future in college to pursue a life in front of the big screen. Even though she had no training in acting, she took the risk in an effort to get away from her home life. 

Speaking with Dianne Sawyer for "Good Morning America," Moore explained she didn't let her background stop her. "I was figuring it out, like, by the seat of my pants ... The school of 'fake it till you make it.'" Fortunately, what she lacked in experience, she made up for in confidence. As a teenager, she figured she had nothing to lose by trying. Her mentality? "I don't have anything, so, why not?"

While most working actors struggle to land the tiniest roles, Moore was in luck when she landed a decent part in "General Hospital" from 1982 to 1984. It was her big break, but it wasn't all easy going from there. In fact, it came with several hurdles as well.

The actor got her start on General Hospital

When Demi Moore landed the role of Jackie Templeton on "General Hospital," the young actors' life seemed to be improving — at least it appeared that way on the surface. Though she had finally scored her big break on TV and she was getting paid decent money to follow her dream, Moore was facing a devastating internal struggle. As she revealed on "Good Morning America" in 2019, the young star had a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol at the time of her first major acting job, and she'd regularly experience blackouts and shame. As noted by Diane Sawyer on the show, the actor was slipping into the same behaviors as her parents. 

At first, she excused the behavior as just being a carefree teen, but it wasn't until later that she realized she was trying to mask the pain of unresolved trauma from her youth. "I don't have an off switch," she told Sawyer of her addiction. "I don't have the thing that says 'this is enough.'" Fortunately, things began to improve once she landed her next big role in the 1984 cult classic, "St. Elmo's Fire."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Joel Schumacher helped her get sober

Demi Moore's first major movie role was in the post-college drama, "St. Elmo's Fire." Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film had the actor playing Jules, a troubled 22-year-old whose excessive party girl lifestyle looks likely to destroy her. Like Moore, the character was shown experiencing problems with substance use and addiction. For Schumacher, her real-life issues were a huge deal-breaker he was eager to help her with. 

According to the film's co-writer Carl Kurlander, the filmmaker had noted Moore's inebriation during a costume fitting for the film. They subsequently gave her the option of going to rehab and getting sober or losing the part. For Deadline, Kurlander wrote, "I recall him vowing that 'Demi could go kill herself on someone else's movie.'" The star got clean and to this day, she credits the late Schumacher for her sobriety. Speaking to Sirius XM in 2020, Moore noted that the filmmaker had experienced similar troubles of his own. "He wasn't yet sober," she claimed. "So it's like he was doing for me what he couldn't do for himself."

In 2020, Schumacher died aged 80, due to cancer-related complications. On Instagram, Moore paid tribute to the late director and his great impact on her. "'St. Elmo's Fire' was a pivotal moment in not just my career, but in my journey to recovery," she wrote. "Forever grateful for the tough love and the chance he took on me. His daring, dynamic spirit will be missed."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Rob Lowe credits Moore for his sobriety

Rob Lowe and Demi Moore have a long professional relationship together, having appeared as co-stars in several projects including "St. Elmo's Fire" and "About Last Night." They're also great friends. During an appearance on "The View," the "Parks and Recreation" star credited his dear pal for helping him with his own sobriety. "She was the first person I ever knew who got sober," he told explained. "She was a huge inspiration to me. It was the 80s, we were all doing our thing. I just remember thinking, 'If that girl can get sober, anybody can.'" In 2019, the actor revealed on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that he'd officially been sober for 30 years. "It becomes a full-time job," he told the Clarkson. "But it changed my life."

Per "Inside Out" (via Radar), Moore relapsed from her 20 years of sobriety after getting into a relationship with Ashton Kutcher. When they divorced, the "Ghost" actor hit an all-time low, causing her to rely on drugs and alcohol more than ever. It wasn't until she had a seizure at a party after using nitrous oxide that she realized she had to get sober again. "Everyone else was witnessing my body flailing," she said of the incident on "Good Morning America." "My daughter was terrified that she was gonna see me die right in front of her. And within me, I was at a place where I was thinking, 'how did I get in here? ... I wonder if I can get out.'"

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

She was once engaged to Emilio Estevez

After getting close on the set of "St. Elmo's Fire," Demi Moore fell head over heels in love with her co-star and fellow Brat Pack member, Emilio Estevez. The two were totally enamored with each other, and she felt right at home with his tight-knit family — a Hollywood dynasty that includes his father, Martin Sheen, and brother, Charlie Sheen. On "The Howard Stern Show," the actor talked about how much she valued Estevez's family as they had a sense of stability that she never enjoyed within her own home growing up.

Per "Inside Out" (via In Style), the union sadly wouldn't last, with Moore writing, "Emilio and I had in fact just mailed out the invitations for our wedding when a friend told me she had seen him out with someone else in L.A.." Although the star of "The Breakfast Club" denied that he'd cheated, his fiancée was experiencing trust issues. A few months earlier, he'd gotten an ex-girlfriend pregnant during a brief separation from Moore.  With the help of a therapist, she ended things after realizing that she wasn't high on her partner's list of priorities, writing, "I postponed the wedding indefinitely."

Per Moore's memoir (via ET), the two remained friends. In fact, it was at a party thrown by Estevez that Moore would meet her second husband. 

She suspected Bruce Willis of infidelity

At the age of 25, Demi Moore met the man who would soon become the love of her life, Bruce Willis. In "Inside Out" (via ET) she wrote of how attentive and enamored the "Die Hard" star was with her. "Bruce was so gallant," she wrote. "– in his own boisterous way, a real gentleman." It didn't take long after that initial meeting for their romance to ignite. They quickly got married and eagerly started a family, becoming blessed with three healthy and beautiful daughters named Scout, Tallulah, and Rumer.

Despite their loving beginnings, their relationship began to unravel several years into their marriage. Over time, the sense of security that Willis had provided for Moore started to wane, and it got to the point where she no longer felt safe or prioritized within the marriage. As she revealed in her memoir (via ET), he began spending more and more time away from home, and it wasn't long before she suspected Willis of cheating on her while he was filming movies. Ten years into their marriage, he told Moore that he no longer wanted to be married to her.

Fortunately, Moore and Willis still have a beautiful relationship with one another as co-parents to their three children. And when the "Die Hard" actor was diagnosed with aphasia in 2022, his former wife took to Instagram to share that she was by his side to support him every step of the way.

She was addicted to Ashton Kutcher

According to the Daily Mail, Demi Moore began dating Ashton Kutcher in 2003, when she was 40 and he was 25. Two years later, they were married. Recalling the casual dinner at which they met, the "Ghost" star gushed to Harpers Bazaar (via The Denver Post), "Talk about meeting your soul mate." Yet despite how amazing their relationship was at first, things began to slip once Moore was ready to give up anything for Kutcher. Even her 20 years of sobriety.

"I wanted to be ... the girl who could have a glass of wine at dinner or do a tequila shot at a party," she wrote in her memoir, "Inside Out" (via Entertainment Tonight). "In my mind, Ashton wanted that, too. So I tried to become that: A fun, normal girl." She went on to explain in her book that she didn't really think about the consequences of her actions, and that her only real concern was to keep the "That '70s Show" star around. As she revealed on "The Ellen Degeneres Show," her relationship subsequently became co-dependent. 

On a 2019 episode of "Red Table Talk," Moore equated the way she used substances to how she also treated her relationship with Kutcher. "The addiction and the codependency ... like my addiction to Ashton — that was probably almost more devastating because it took me seriously away emotionally." Fortunately, Moore confirmed that she was eight years sober on the episode.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Demi repeatedly changed herself for men

Demi Moore's unstable childhood impacted on her need to be in a stable, loving relationship as an adult. Reflecting on her divorce from Ashton Kutcher on "Good Morning America," she even noted that the breakup felt less about their relationship and more about her own life. "It was about being the two-year-old who wasn't safe," she explained. "That this really represented that I'm not lovable."

Because she so eagerly wanted to feel loved, she often found that she would alter her entire persona in order to fit into the ideal mold of what her partner desired. On "The Ellen Degeneres Show" she even mentioned that she had compromised her values in the marriage in order to be the person that she assumed Kutcher wanted. Unfortunately, doing so was detrimental to the movie star's well-being. 

In an interview with Sirius XM, she elaborated that this was sadly a pattern she'd repeated within many of her relationships. "I changed myself so many times over and over to fit what I thought somebody else wanted," she said. "... It's that idea that we're kind of conditioned to work toward being desired, but we're not supposed to have desires of our own." Moore added that it takes a lot to put in the necessary work to ensure a relationship is as healthy and functional as it deserves to be. "But you can't do that without that love and acceptance of yourself," she said.