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Director Kevin Smith issued an apology to Bruce Willis on Wednesday after the actor’s family announced he was “stepping away” from acting due to his aphasia diagnosis.
Smith directed the 2010 comedy “Cop Out” starring Willis and Tracy Morgan. In the year since the film’s release, Smith has made nasty remarks about his time working with the “Die Hard” icon.
“Long before the Cop Out stuff I was a huge Bruce Willis fan – so this is really heartbreaking to read,” Smith reacted on Twitter.
“He loved performing and singing and the loss of that must be devastating to him. I feel like a hole for my little complaints from 2010. I’m so sorry for BW and his family,” Smith tweeted. continued.
BRUCE WILLIS EXPOSED COGNITIVE PROBLEMS, MEMORY LOSS ON FILM DISHES BEFORE APHASIA ANNOUNCEMENT: FILMMAKERS
In 2011, Smith’s comment about his work with Willis made headlines after he discussed his frustration working with the veteran action star on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast.
“It was tough,” Smith said at the time (via Variety). “I’ve never been involved in a situation like this where, a component isn’t in the box at all. It was soul-crushing fucking. I mean, a lot of people are going to say, ‘ Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him.’ No, but I got no fucking help from that guy.”
In the same interview, Smith praised Morgan, saying that if it wasn’t for him, “I might have killed myself or someone else in the making of this movie.”
WHAT IS APHASIA?
In a statement released Wednesday, Willis’ family said he had been diagnosed as aphasica condition that affects the ability to communicate.
“Amazing Bruce supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has had health issues and was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. To Following this and with great consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that meant so much to him,” the family statement, signed by his wife Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore and daughters Rumer, Scout , Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn, read.
He continued, “This is a really tough time for our family and we so appreciate your continued love, compassion and support. We’re going through this as a strong family unit and we wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.
BRUCE WILLIS GETS SUPPORT FROM HOLLYWOOD STARS AFTER SHARING APHASIA DIAGNOSIS: ‘CAN HE REST AND RECOVER’
“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that,” the statement concluded.
Willis’ diagnosis was announced just over a week after his 67th birthday.
According to the National Aphasia Association, acquired communication disorder impairs a person’s ability to process language, including the ability to speak and understand others or read and write. It affects 2 millions Americans, with nearly 180,000 diagnosed with the disorder each year.
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Aphasia is always due to brain damage and is most often caused by stroke, especially in the elderly. About 25-40% of stroke survivors develop aphasia.
Brain damage resulting in aphasia can also occur as a result of head trauma, brain tumors, and infections.
It does not affect a person’s intelligence, although a person with aphasia may have trouble remembering words and names.
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Aphasia can be severe or very mild and can occur in people of all ages, races, nationalities and genders.