The internet was shocked when it was reported by several publications that actor Bruce Willis’s aphasia had declined into dementia. In the midst of the sorrowful news, there was a nagging accusation that again reared its ugly head. Allegedly, producer Randall Emmett was aware of his friend and colleague’s worsening mental health and yet pressurized him to work in his movies. But is that true? Let us untangle this messy matter.
Did Randall Emmett Know About Bruce Willis’s Condition?
In March 2022, Bruce Willis’s family announced that the 67-year-old action star was bidding farewell to acting after getting diagnosed with the neurological disorder- aphasia, that prevented him from communicating coherently. But before his retirement, the actor worked on multiple films with 51-year-old producer Emmett, including his directorial debut titled, Midnight in the Switchgrass. However, all was not going well even back then as per Emmett’s ex-fiancé Lala Kent.
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She stated that her ex had broken down and admitted to her about Willis’s debilitating condition in a September 2020 phone call. He allegedly said that the actor couldn’t remember any of his lines and neither was he aware of his surroundings. She said:
“I can’t do this anymore. It’s just so sad. Bruce can’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.”
However, Emmett denied being in possession of any such knowledge regarding Bruce’s health.
In a statement released to the outlet Los Angeles Times, the Lone Survivor producer expressed that he wasn’t cognizant of Willis’ health issues. However, 2020 is about 2 full years before Willis’s health issues were made public. Additionally, apart from Kent, the property master of Midnight in the Switchgrass, Alicia Haverland, too admitted that the actor’s poor mental condition was an open secret.
She told LA Times that the stunt coordinator and first AD saw Willis struggling and one would have to be blind to not see his regressing abilities. She said:
“Our stunt coordinator mentioned he was struggling. Our first AD saw he was struggling. You would have to be blind to not see him struggling.”
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Randall Emmett Declines All Accusations
Martin Singer, Bruce Willis’s attorney, said that Randall Emmett knew about the Die Hard actor’s cerebral issues but still continued pressurizing him to act. However, Emmett’s representative informed US Weekly that Willis had enjoyed being on the set of every movie he and Emmett had worked on. He said that the actor enjoyed going for dinners and talking with the set crew. The representative said that if Bruce Willis didn’t want to be there, he wouldn’t have been. As per the rep:
“Randall is very proud of the work he and Bruce Willis have done over the last 15 years. In every single movie they have done together, Bruce enjoyed being on set, playing golf, going to dinners, and communing with the crew. If Bruce had not wanted to be on set, he would not have been there. Willis is one of the greatest actors of his time and was sought after by multiple production companies until his recent retirement. Randall counts him among his closest friends.”
In the end, the representative expressed that Randall Emmett still counts Bruce Willis as one of his closest friends. But all of this could be a very well-constructed and elaborate sham on Emmett’s part. After all, coercing a mentally unwell actor isn’t the only thing the producer is accused of.
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Currently, Randall Emmett faces allegations of perpetuating abuse against employees, business partners, and women. As per LA Times, his company, the Emmett/Furla Oasis, is facing about a dozen lawsuits. However, Sallie Hofmeister, his spokesperson, has denied all the accusations in a statement to the above outlet. For now, it’s unclear which side is on the right. As such, it remains to be seen what becomes of the feud between Bruce Willis and Randall Emmett.
Source: US Weekly