Demi Moore gave her daughter Rumer Willis quite a scare in 2012 after Willis needed to call paramedics for her mother, who had fallen ill during a party and had a seizure.
Rumer, 31, who is the eldest daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, opened up about the traumatic experience, as did her mom, and Moore’s youngest daughter, Tallulah, on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series, “Red Table Talk,” on Monday.
The group touched on Moore’s tell-all memoir, “Inside Out,” in which she writes about a number of pivotal moments in her life and career. The 56-year-old recalls a very specific time where she had an adverse reaction to drugs and suffered a seizure, prompting Rumer, who was 23 at the time, to spring into action to save her life.
“I inhaled some nitrous, I smoked a little spice, which is like manmade pot. It’s not like I went wild and overdosed,” Demi wrote. “I just had a weird reaction, a seizure, which is apparently not that uncommon when people do nitrous or ‘whip-its,’ the DIY version of the laughing gas you get at the dentist’s office. … I scared Rumer so badly when she saw me there, semiconscious on the floor; she thought I might die in front of her.”
Rumer recalled the incident in their roundtable-style conversation, saying that at the moment, she was terrified she would have to break the news to her sisters that their mother had died.
“I was there in the other room with 911 panicking because I’m like, either my mom is gonna die and I’m not gonna be in the room and I’m gonna feel the guilt of that for the rest of my life, or I’m gonna be there and see this image of my mom that I will never get out of my head,” she said.
“What will I do? Or I will have to call my sisters in the morning and tell them that my mom died and they are never gonna get to talk to her again,” added Rumer.
During the conversation, Rumer also revealed that following the incident, along with her sisters Tallulah, 25, and Scout, 28, the trio of siblings avoided speaking to Moore for three years. When Pinkett Smith pressed Tallulah on why they made the decision to cut ties with Moore during that time, the artist recalled being only 9 when the relapse occurred — “No one in my family spoke about it.”
“I had no idea what was going on, she had been sober my entire childhood,” Tallulah added. “And then she drank and then I just knew that I was scared and that she was unsafe and there were many years of saying she was sober and she wasn’t and we couldn’t trust it. And all of the adults around us, in an effort to protect us, were protecting her. So if she wasn’t sober, they would tell her she was.”
Rumer Willis and Demi Moore attend the Cinema for Peace fundraiser for Haiti at Montage Beverly Hills in 2012. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Eventually, Moore entered rehab, but her daughters — Rumer and Tallulah — would also endure their own bouts with substance abuse. Rumer detailed her experiences with alcoho, explaining that her estrangement from her mother only aided in her overindulgence.
“At the time, I didn’t have a healthy relationship with alcohol either,” Rumer explained. “When I stopped talking to my mom, then it kicked up into high gear. I started getting anxiety attacks about how bad I was gonna feel the next day. I would be drunk, start hyperventilating and freak out.”
Tallulah added that she began drinking heavily around 14 or 15 and at one-time “guzzled” so much vodka she “almost died of alcohol poisoning.” She said that she eventually was even kicked out of her sister Rumer’s home after it was discovered Tallulah had been stealing medication.
Tallulah said her father, “Die Hard” franchise star Bruce Willis, “didn’t understand that once a child graduates from high school, you still have to take care of them.”