Bruce Willis was exploited by film producers who continued to cast him in movies even though he couldn’t remember his lines or perform because of aphasia, a new report claims.
A Los Angeles Times revelation about film producer Randall Emmett accused the 51-year-old of defrauding investors, rampant drug use, tackling his ex-fiancée – “Vanderpump Rules” star Lala Kent, 31 – and offering acting roles for sexual favors.
Sources also said that Emmett was happy to continue linking Willis’ name to movies, even when the action hero stumbled.
In September 2020, Emmett Willis, now 67, was directing “Midnight in the Switchgrass” and couldn’t get the actor to kick in a door — not even with the help of a stunt coordinator, according to several crew members. Frustrated, he left the set and a confused Willis asked, “Did I do something wrong?”
“You’d have to be blind not to see him struggling,” said Alicia Haverland, a real estate manager in the film.
That evening, Emmett is said to have called his then-fiance Kent in tears. “I can’t do this anymore,” Kent told her. “It’s just so sad. Bruce can’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.” (Emmett has denied the numerous allegations in the LA Times story. He said this conversation did not take place and that he was unaware of Willis’s declining health.)
But he didn’t stop working with the ‘Die Hard’ star. After that phone call, he made five more action movies with Willis and reportedly used the A-lister as a cash cow for Emmett/Furla Oasis, his former production company with partner George Furla.
If the couple needed an infusion of cash to pay off debt, they discussed making “another bulls-t Bruce Willis movie,” according to former assistant Anna Szymanska.
Emmett carved a niche in Tinseltown, producing bad movies featuring aging action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Willis, the latter of whom reportedly earned $2 million for two days of work. While domestic direct-to-DVD flops, the films are said to be financial successes in international markets.
The Miami native rose through the showbiz ranks with sheer bustle, first becoming part of Mark Wahlberg’s real-life assistant entourage, then making the hit “Lone Survivor” with his old boss. As his production credit grew, so did his lavish lifestyle, which included flying private jets and driving a Rolls-Royce – both of which he showed off “Vanderpump Rules.”
Then there was a 2019 beef with 50 Cent, who loaned Emmett, a producer of his show “Power,” $1 million dollars. The rapper said he was late in repaying the debt and teased Emmett and Kent on social media. The pair soon settled down, but the “Candy Shop” artist mocked his longtime adversary on Instagram after the bombshell allegations about Emmett’s exploitation of Bruce Willis were published.
As of 2006, Willis appeared in two dozen EFO films, even as his health declined. In ‘Wrong Place’, one of the ‘Sixth Sense’ star’s last films, he spent two days on the set in Alabama, where he got lines through an earpiece.
Szymanska remembered that Willis always had an assistant by his side. However, she added: “If nobody from Bruce’s team was around, the crew would say how sad we were to see him in this state.”
Willis’ attorney, Marty Singer, declined to interview on behalf of the star.
But the attorney defended Willis’ work with Emmett. “My client continued to work after his medical diagnosis because he wanted to work and could, as did many others with aphasia who are able to continue working,” Singer said, adding that the actor brought jobs to people during the pandemic.
In a statement to the LA Times, Emmett blamed Kent – with whom he is locked up in a custody battle over their 1-year-old daughter Ocean – for the savage allegations.
Through a spokesperson, he characterized Kent’s claims as “false and part of a now-known smear campaign orchestrated by [his] ex-fiancé to influence their custody dispute.” The couple broke up last October, and Kent later said that Emmett’s relationship with a 23-year-old shortly after giving birth was the reason.
In the LA Times piece, Kent claimed that when she confronted her ex about her suspicions of cheating and tried to take his phone, he attacked her. Emmett and his old nanny disputed this story, saying the fight wasn’t physical.
“I used all my strength to get him off me as he tried to pry it out of my hands,” Kent said, adding, “Then I was sure there was a lot he was hiding.”