September 20, 2021

Demi Moore spills on her whirlwind romance and quick marriage to ‘controlling’ Bruce Willis


Demi Moore met Bruce Willis in August 1987 and a whirlwind romance quickly followed with a marriage and pregnancy within four months. 

Bruce – then 36 – was on the cusp of moving from TV heartthrob into international movie star realm and Demi – then 25- was soon to become the highest paid actress in Hollywood, making them the ‘It’ couple and earning more money than they ever dreamed possible. 

But despite staying married for 13 years, the butterflies faded fast as Bruce – now 64 –  ‘wanted to do whatever the f**k he wanted to do’ and insisted Demi stay home with the kids instead of have a career, the 56-year-old actress reveals in her new memoir Inside Out. 

Demi Moore met Bruce Willis in August of 1987 and the Hollywood elite were married and expecting their first child within four months (pictured together in 1990)

The couple were married for 13 years and amicably raised their three daughters Rumer, 31, Scout, 28, and Tallulah, 25

Demi had beat her drug and booze addictions and had just broken off an engagement with Emilio Estevez when she encountered the member of the New Rat Pack who made her feel like a princess and she stepped into the fast lane of private jets and international travel with him.

‘Bruce insisted that he thought everything about me was beautiful: he wrapped my fear and anxiety in his love’, she writes in her just released memoir.

But she still hadn’t escaped the agony of her long-time eating disorder that made her self-conscious about her weight.

Moore makes the revelations in her new memoir Inside Out

Being a mother was the only place she really felt comfortable with herself, she reveals.

The couple found their greatest happiness in Hailey, Idaho, where Bruce had recently bought a house and they began homesteading and having their first child, Rumer Glenn Willis, a baby girl named after the British author, Rumer Godden.

Demi held her baby close and breast-fed her for two years.

It may have seemed like a perfect life – ‘but if you carry a well of shame and unresolved trauma inside of you, no amount of money, no measure of success or celebrity can fill it’, the actress writes.

But for that brief moment in time, ‘our traumas met’.

Bruce had been a stutterer throughout his difficult childhood, the oldest of four and son of a hardworking mother never appreciated by her husband and the couple divorced.

Demi recognized the wounded boy under Bruce’s roguish personality that made him a star in the TV show, Moonlighting, and got him a $5million payout to star in the upcoming Die Hard film.

They jetted off to Vegas to see boxing matches when he had a weekend free from filming and he proposed while walking to the gambling tables.

They both wanted kids and a family and shared a vision that they had missed out on something wonderful in their own childhoods.

So they tied the knot in Vegas and Demi got pregnant on her wedding night in November 1987 at the Golden Nugget with an elaborate second wedding ceremony to follow on the soundstages at Warner Bros. studios with Little Richard performing the ministerial duties.

‘DahMEE, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, whether he live in a big mansion on the hill or a little tiny apartment?’ trilled the rock ‘n’ roll and r’n’b musician.

Life was rosy in Idaho until Demi lost all the weight she had gained during her pregnancy plus eight pounds in 12 weeks and was feeling fearless enough to host an upcoming SNL show.

A movie offer with Robert De Niro and Sean Penn followed and Demi thought maybe this was the time to trust herself as an actor.

But Bruce’s reaction caught her off-guard.

‘This is never going to work if you’re off shooting a film’, he told her. He didn’t want her involved in anything outside of the family.

‘Well, we’ll make it work’, she assured him and planned to bring Rumer with her on the set of We’re No Angels which shot just over the border in Canada.

Moore and Willis met, got married and became pregnant within four months of meeting in November 1987 (pictured at their wedding)

She reveals in new memoir that her marriage suffered when her career took off because Bruce wanted her home with the family (pictured with daughter Rumer)

Moore writes that being a mother was the only place she really felt comfortable with herself as she battled drug addiction and eating disorders

‘I think both of us from the outset were more passionate about having kids than we were about being married,’ Demi confesses in her memoir 

She flew home to Idaho every weekend to accommodate Bruce’s schedule.

Her professional life took off with her next film, Ghost, but at the expense of her relationship.

Before heading off to Europe to film Hudson Hawk, Bruce told her: ‘I don’t know if I want to be married’.

They had moved quickly through the romance, marriage and first child that gave him family and grounding, ‘but he also craved excitement and novelty’, Demi writes.

‘Basically he wanted to do whatever the f*ck he wanted.

‘He was 36, throw in celebrity and money. You do the math’.

Demi told him to ‘go’ but he couldn’t commit to breaking up the marriage or to Demi.

She visited him on the set but sensed he had had affairs and he was still furious with her for going back to work.

They made a pact not to be separated for more than two weeks and to spend four days together but Demi violated that with a film offer.

‘I had a very rebellious reaction to Bruce in general.

‘I just didn’t buy the ”You’re the king” kind of thing, which he thrived on. Plus, telling me, ”I don’t know if I want to be married” is not exactly the way to my heart’, she writes.

But when he got back to Idaho, she got pregnant again and he was over the moon.

Demi posed for the famous Vanity Fair cover revealing her very pregnant body while the text portrayed her as ‘selfish, egotistical and pampered’ diva, a perception that followed her for years with ill will.

Scout LaRue Willis was born three and a half weeks early in July 1991, and named after the heroine of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The relationship seemed to be back on track and they tried to do their films at the same time so they could be together during down time.

Each time Demi would become pregnant, it seemed like the relationship with Bruce was back on track, but that would always eventually derail (pictured with daughter Rumer)

Demi lost the weight she had gained during her pregnancy plus eight pounds in 12 weeks and was feeling fearless enough to host Saturday Night Live

Demi posed for this famous Vanity Fair cover revealing her very pregnant body while the text portrayed her as ‘selfish, egotistical and pampered’ diva

Demi was sick during her third pregnancy and Bruce took care of Rumer, who was five and Scout, not yet two.

The actress was offered over $12million on the movie Striptease, making her the highest-paid actress in Hollywood at the time

He was just as excited about a third child and had agreed on the name Tallulah.

Demi joined Bruce in New York on a film shoot and was advised to stop exercising by doctors in the city who were monitoring her pregnancy because the baby was too small and not gaining weight.

Back in Idaho, her own doctor induced labor at full term. They had to get her out fast because something wasn’t right.

Tallulah Belle weighed only four pounds, twelve ounces when she took her first breath.

‘I would have done anything to take care of my girls. I felt an almost primal need to protect them: I would have taken a bullet for them, robbed a bank’, writes the actress.

But she didn’t need to because she was offered over $12million on her next movie, Striptease and was now the highest-paid actress in Hollywood and being called ‘Gimme Moore’ with a lot of hate coming her way. 

She was trying to hold onto her marriage, her career, her exercise and diet regimens but the only place she felt comfortable was being a mother.

Demi never realized she could talk to Bruce about her weight fixation – starving herself, her manic exercise regimen.

She suddenly just stopped going to the gym in their house and decided to eat when she was hungry – and she was okay.

When she thought about her marriage, she sensed it was only prolonged by their frequent separations.

Demi later found love with Ashton Kutcher, who loved her children, before it ended in another divorce. Pictured together in 2003 

The actress was a stay at home mom with the girls, while Bruce was the breadwinner – though they were no longer married. She writes that she and Bruce felt more connected than before the divorce

They both adored their girls but Demi believed Bruce was ambivalent about their marriage and that tormented him.

‘I think both of us from the outset were more passionate about having kids than we were about being married’.

They spent little time together as a couple before becoming parents and then Demi did eight films in two years.

Demi never knew what mood Bruce would be in.

This was the same thing she had experienced with her mother and she coped by becoming self-sufficient.

Bruce recognized her defensive armor and that ‘there was no room inside it for someone else’.

‘So Bruce and I were trapped in our dance. He felt locked out by my self-reliance which hurt him in ways he couldn’t face and fed his ambivalence about our marriage’, Demi writes.

That triggered a hurt within Demi and they decided to separate.

Demi became the stay-at-home mom and Bruce was the breadwinner although no longer her husband.

They now felt more connected than before the divorce.

Demi and the girls all slept together in the master bedroom in Idaho and Demi finally found the time to get out on the property and play with the girls.

She was making up for playtime she had missed out on in her own very dysfunctional childhood.

Instead of going to a therapist when they split up, she bought toys and that became an addiction – which doll had the sweetest expression, the eyes with the ideal spacing.

Demi’s daughters gave her an ultimatum when she fell into drug addiction after her divorce with Kutcher: Rehab or we won’t speak to you. Once she cleaned up the girls and Bruce Willis reunited with her

She immersed herself in self-help books, met with a Tibetan monk, a shaman, a Cherokee medicine woman, even trekking in Bhutan.

She was exploring the power of intuition – looking for ‘the truth’.

She would need it to survive her relationship with Ashton Kutcher that burned out quickly and almost took her with it when she fell back into drinking to keep up with him and feel like a ‘fun, normal girl’.

Demi was 41 and Ashton was 25 when they connected and fell in love, though it didn’t last 

She was 41 and he was 25 when they connected and fell in love.

She had come into the relationship after having a big life with a big ex and three children.

His adult life and career were still ahead of him.

She quickly got pregnant but miscarried at 42 and blamed it on the booze and cigarettes.

No treatment from intrauterine insemination to in vitro-fertilization to daily shots in the stomach and butt every morning and night worked.

She wasn’t getting pregnant again and reluctantly agreed to threesomes to keep him happy, she claims.

When that didn’t work and he began having affairs with younger women, she drank more.

Her girls gave her an ultimatum: Rehab or we won’t speak to you. They loved her but she was on a self-destructive slide.

So they cut her off until she cleaned up and didn’t call her at Christmas, on her 50th birthday, on Mother’s Day. No email.

She now had to deal with taking care of herself.

‘I had to lose so much before I could break down enough to rebuild’, she writes ‘I was holding on to so many misconceptions about myself all my life – that I wasn’t valuable – that I was unworthy and contaminated’.

But Demi beat her addictions and her girls were back in her arms. 

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