Bruce & Demi: Behind the Split

Hollywood power couple ends 10-year marriage; friends say they spent too much time apart

By Joal Ryan Jun 25, 1998 2:55 PMTags
Like Greta Garbo, Bruce Willis wants to be alone.

"...I would just like to be on my own for a little while," the Die Hard star said, in a statement, following the long-rumored, but still-bombshell announcement that he and super-couple partner Demi Moore were splitsville after 10 years of marriage.

The couple confirmed the break-up late Wednesday in a brief press release that was disappointingly (for Enquiring minds) bereft of details. The hand-out said Bruce and Demi were "ending" their union. And that was about it.

(Well, Willis did add, in his personal statement, that it was a "very sad day." There was no special word from Moore.)

Please, people, please. What about the specifics? As in:

(1) Why?

(2) Does "ending" mean divorce or a separation?;

(3) What about the kids--Rumer, 9, Scout, 6, and Tallulah, 4?;

(4) And, hey, what about Planet Hollywood?

With the light of a new day, answers have become (only) slightly easier to find:

Answer (1): The chief theory being espoused by so-called friends of Bruce and Demi is that the globe-trotting power duo, with homes in Idaho and Malibu, and movie-set trailers the world over, spent too much time apart.

"They were leading different lives," a source tells the New York Post.

The other consensus opinion is that the marriage has been on life support for a while. The New York Daily News says Mr. Hudson Hawk and Ms. G.I. Jane reportedly were living apart in recent months.

The announcement of the split was said to be delayed until summer--and until summer vacation--to mitigate the schoolyard-teasing factor for the couple's three kids.

Supermarket tabloids have been predicting this blow-up for more than a year. Just last March, the two got an Australian mag to apologize for reporting that their marriage was on the endangered list. And last year the couple sued the Star for a similar story.

Answer (2): As to the matter of divorce or separation, don't know. The publicist didn't say, and the paper trail is inconclusive. No divorce filings are on record--at least in Los Angeles.

A source tells the Daily News that it wouldn't be surprising to see the Willis-Moore split settled in Idaho, where they live on a 40-acre expanse.

Another friend speculates in the newspaper that the couple hung on to marriage, in part, because "they didn't want to deal with the [financial] numbers" of divorce.

While Moore is a top-paid actress (getting a reported $12 million for Striptease), Willis is an even bigger top-paid actor--a member of Hollywood's exclusive $20 million club.

"...Bruce especially," the friend tells the Daily News. "...He doesn't want to part with a lot of money."

Answer (3): Afraid the custody issue is as murky as everything else.

But on this positive note, a source tells the Daily News that the couple intends to go about their split "amicably."

And on this ominous note, the source adds: "But that remains to be seen."

Answer (4): Bruce and Demi are shareholders in Planet Hollywood. The state of this, and other joint business holdings, are, again, unclear.

But since the theme-restaurant chain also has the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Whoopi Goldberg to keep its axis spinning, we're guessing that your french fries will be okay at lunch today.


Willis, 43, and Moore, 35, married on November 21, 1987, in Las Vegas. Moore's Brat Pack alum, Ally Sheedy, played a wedding guest. It was his first marriage; her second.

They costarred together once on screen: in 1991's Mortal Thoughts. In 1996, they provided voices for the animated comedy, Beavis and Butt-head Do America.

Willis next will be seen in the now aptly titled disaster movie, Armageddon.

(ORIGINALLY POSTED at 6:25 p.m. on 6/24/98)