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How Bruce Willis and Emma Heming's marriage won his ex Demi Moore's approval and brought their families together

Willis and Moore have cracked the code to getting along with not just your exes but their families too as one extended and happy unit
UPDATED APR 22, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Fans of Bruce Willis are shocked that the 'Die Hard' actor has chosen to self-isolate with his former wife, Demi Moore, and their kids, Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout, instead of his current wife, Emma Heming and their two daughters, Mabel and Evelyn. But if they knew the backstory of the trio, they would not be raising their eyebrows at the modern American blended family. 

It all started when Bruce and Demi's stormy marriage, which was filled with whirlwind romance, unplanned pregnancies, alcoholism, and accusations of adultery, came to an end in 2000. By then the couple already had three daughters and so made the mutual decision to maintain an amicable friendship even after their split. 

"I think Bruce was fearful at the beginning that I was going to make our split difficult, and that I would express my anger and whatever baggage that I had from our marriage by obstructing his access to the kids — that I’d turn to all of those ploys divorcing couples use as weapons. But I didn’t, and neither did he,"  Demi revealed in her memoir, 'Inside Out' published last year. 

Seven years after their split, Bruce met Emma, a model and an actress, through a mutual friend. A throwback photo shared by Emma of the two of them from December 2007, earlier this month was jokingly captioned, "He's clearly so into me."

The pair began dating and tied the knot at a civil ceremony in Beverly Hills two years later. The wedding guest list of the 2009 ceremony included Demi, her then-husband Aston Kutcher, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah. 

Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming Willis attend the "Motherless Brooklyn" Arrivals during the 57th New York Film Festival on October 11, 2019 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Last year, after 10 years of marriage, Bruce and Emma decided to renew their wedding vows. Showing her support for the couple, Demi attended the 2019 ceremony too.  

"I think we've always had a lot of respect for each other, which has really helped build a great foundation," Emma told Us Weekly at the time. "He makes me laugh. He's funny and he's smart, and nuts, and always keeps me on my toes, so it's fun."

Emma also quipped about how valuable the support from Demi had been for their relationship. “She welcomed me into her family like I welcomed her into ours,” she said of the 'Striptease' actress. “Again, I have so much respect for her. I have so much respect for how Bruce and Demi worked through their divorce to be able to put their children first. I learned so much from that and grew so much from watching that. It was important for her to be there. She was at our first wedding. I loved having her there again. I wouldn’t do it without her.”

Bruce and Demi's daughters also got a chance to spend quality time with their younger step-sisters during the family reunion, which Emma was thrilled about. “Oh my gosh, when the older ones are around, the little ones want nothing to do with me or Bruce,” Emma said. “The older ones, they’re awesome, and they love being around their young sisters. The young ones just adore them. We’re moving back west, actually, so that we can be closer to them. The girls are very happy about that.”

Recently, when Emma started leaving comments like "love you both so much" and "at its finest love and miss you guys" on pictures of her husband posing with Demi and his older kids in Idaho that different family members uploaded on social media, many fans wondered if the mother-of-two was faking being sweet and actually seething with rage because Bruce had abandoned her amid a health crisis in the country. But the reality is far less dramatic. 

According to reports, Bruce maintains a house near Demi's estate in Idaho so that he can easily co-parent his daughters and got stuck there when California went into a lockdown. Emma too initially planned on joining the gang but her area became a hotspot for COVID-19 and she had to stay put.

Actor Ashton Kutcher, actress Demi Moore, actor Micah Alberti, actress Rumer Willis, Emma Heming, actor Bruce Willis, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis arrive at Columbia Pictures' premiere of "House Bunny" held at the Mann Village Theater on August 20, 2008 in Westwood, California. (Getty Images)

"He has a house directly across the street from Demi's house in Sun Valley," a source told Entertainment Tonight. "It's been for sale for years. He was visiting and his family was considering quarantining there. He got stuck because Sun Valley became one of the COVID-19 hotspots. Bruce and Demi made a decision to quarantine together with their children and have been doing so for over a month."

The insider added: "The family didn't want to take any risks of outside influences so they've stayed away from socializing with anyone but their family. Bruce isn't with his wife or young children, but that was understood going into this."

On a recent episode of the Dopey self-help podcast, Scout Willis opened up about what led to the unusual quarantine arrangements. "My stepmom was going to come up here too with my little sisters. [But] my younger sister… [who has] never gotten a talk about not f***ing with hypodermic needles…. she found [needles at a park and] she actually tried to poke her shoe with it and poked her foot," she shared. 

She added: "So my stepmom had to be in LA waiting to, like, get the results for taking her to the doctor. My dad came up here early and then travel got crazy and my stepmom stayed in LA with my little sisters."

So that's that. Despite having an unusual setup, all of them find a way to make it work. “Demi and Emma are close, and all three get on great as a big blended family. There are no issues at all. Emma needed to stay in L.A. with the young kids,” a family source told People magazine