Bruce Willis' wife, Emma Heming Willis, has called on paparazzi to refrain from yelling at the "Die Hard" franchise star when they see him in public, as he battles dementia.
Making her plea in an emotional video shared to her Instagram page over the weekend, she explained that "there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put forth" about people living with dementia.
Heming Willis' decision to speak out was prompted by a recent incident during which photographers attempted to gain the attention of Willis, who had made his first public appearance since his family revealed his dementia diagnosis, to visit friends for coffee in Santa Monica, California.
In her video, Heming Willis noted how "difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and to navigate them safely."
She added in the clip: "This one is going out to the photographers and the video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about: Just keep your space. I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space."
She continued: "For the video people, please don't be yelling at my husband asking him how he's doing or whatever — the 'woohoo'-ing and the 'yippee ki-yays'… just don't do it. OK? Give him his 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."
Captioning the video, Heming Willis added: "To other caregivers or dementia care specialist navigating this world. ... any tips or advice on how to get your loved ones out in the world safely? Please share below."
Weeks prior, the Willis family revealed that Bruce had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
In a statement last month, Willis's family announced that the actor's condition had "progressed" after initially being diagnosed with aphasia, a language and cognition disorder.
"Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead," the statement read. "As Bruce's condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately," the statement continued. "We know in our hearts that — if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families."
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