Sylvester Stallone says Bruce Willis is having a ‘really, really hard time’ amid battle with aphasia

Sylvester Stallone says Bruce Willis is having a ‘really, really hard time’ amid battle with aphasia

Actors Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone arrive at the HBO premiere in Los Angeles

Sylvester Stallone says Bruce Willis is having a “really, really hard time” amid his aphasia battle. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone shares a heartbreaking update on the health of his old friend Bruce Willis.

The Rocky The star was asked if he had been in touch with Willis since his family announced in March that he had retired from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a cognitive disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak and understand others.

“Bruce is having a really, really hard time,” Stallone said The Hollywood Reporter. “So he was a bit of an unknown.”

He went on to say, “This is killing me. It’s so sad.”

The pair have been friends for years — as well as business partners. In the early ’90s, they teamed up – along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Willis’ first wife, Demi Moore – to back the Planet Hollywood franchise.

American actor, director, screenwriter and producer Sylvester Stallone (L) and actor Bruce Willis attend Demi Moore's 30th birthday party at Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in Valencia.  (Photo by Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone has cake alongside Bruce Willis at Demi Moore’s 30th birthday party. Fun fact: Demi turns 60 on Thursday, November 11, 2022. (Photo: Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images)

They went on to co-star together in Stallone’s The expendable franchise, which made big money at the box office. However, while negotiating a deal for the third film in 2013, they had a dispute over Willis’ salary. Willis reportedly wanted $4 million for four days of shooting, while Stallone would not exceed $3 million. Stallone called Willis “greedy and lazy” on social media. While Willis stopped playing Mr. Churches, they did makeup, with Stallone later clarifying that Willis was “a stand-up guy.” At the press conference ahead of the film’s release, Stallone said that calling Willis out was “nothing personal.”

When the Willis family shared news of his health earlier this year, Stallone was one of the Hollywood stars to publicly react. Taking to social media, she posted a series of old photos of them together writing “We go way back, praying for the best for you and your lovely family…”

Since Willis’ retirement, he has been kept out of the public eye with the only real updates coming from his wife, Emma Heming, and his family. One of the latest was a sweet video, directed to Maren Morris’ “The Bones,” that showed highlights from their summer. Willis danced with his two youngest daughters, gave one a piggy bank, played Frisbee and kissed his wife, among other sweet moments.

Willis has a few full-length films in the pipeline, including Paradise Cityon Friday, which reunites him with his own Pulp Fiction co-starring John Travolta. According to a New York Times review, Willis “appears relatively alert and aware,” despite reports of his struggles on set before the diagnosis. He noted that Willis had little screen time and his one scene with Travolta was “clearly achieved through editing”. He didn’t actually share a frame with his other co-stars, and “more than once it sounds like his dialogue was dubbed by a similar-sounding actor.”

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