Bruce Willis was spotted for the first time since his devastating dementia diagnosis after he stepped out to meet friends in Santa Monica.
The 67-year-old actor has been the center of media attention since it was confirmed last year that he was officially retiring from acting having been diagnosed with aphasia.
Since then, though, his condition has worsened, with the Die Hard star’s family revealing earlier this year that he is suffering from frontotemporal dementia.
On February 16, his wife, Emma Heming, his daughters, and his ex-wife, Demi Moore, released a statement reading:
“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. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.”
The statement concluded: “Bruce has always found joy in life — and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us.”
Needless to say, Bruce has ceased to be a fixture in the limelight, instead opting to spend time with his loved ones behind closed doors.
According to the Daily Mail, though, the Pulp Fiction actor was seen for the first time since his diagnosis last Thursday, when he ventured out to grab a coffee with friends in Santa Monica. Willis was said to be wearing a blue sweater, black joggers and a woolen hat for the occasion.
As per reports, frontotemporal dementia (or FTD) occurs when nerve cells in the lobes behind the forehead die. Symptoms of the degenerative condition include personality changes, repeated and compulsive movements, and speaking difficulties, among other things.
Tributes have flooded in for Willis, who remains a popular figure around the world. Given his status it should come as no surprise that he remains a person of interest where the paparazzi press are concerned, though his wife, Emma, issued a warning for them to give him his space as recently as the weekend.
Emma said: “If you are someone who is looking after someone with dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and to navigate them safely, even just to get a cup of coffee.
“It’s clear that there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put forth. So this one is going out to the photographers and video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about. Just keep your space.”
In the video, she accepted that her husband’s status meant he would always be a target of the press, but aimed to remind them that his deteriorating condition somewhat changes things.
“She said: “”I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space,” she concluded. “Please don’t be yelling at my husband, asking how he’s doing, whatever.
“The woo-hooing and the yippee-ki-yay’s — just don’t do it.
“Give him the space. Allow for our family or whoever’s with him that day to be able to get him from Point A to Point B safely. That’s my PSA.”
All of our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce Willis and his loved ones at this difficult time.
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