Bruce Willis was exploited by film producers, who continued to cast him in films despite being unable to remember his lines or perform due to aphasia, a new report claims.
A Los Angeles Times synopsis of film producer Randall Emmett accused the 51-year-old of defrauding investors, rampant drug use, assaulting his ex-fiancée — “Vanderpump Rules” star Lala Kent, 31 — and offering acting roles in return for sexual favors.
Sources also said that Emmett was happy to keep pinning Willis’ name to films even as the action hero stumbled.
In September 2020, Emmett directed Willis, now 67, on “Midnight in the Switchgrass” and couldn’t get the actor to kick down a door — 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 fight,” said Alicia Haverland, a house manager on the film.
That night, Emmett reportedly called his then-fiancee Kent in tears. “I can’t do this anymore,” Kent said as he told her. “It’s just so sad. Bruce can’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.”
But he didn’t stop collaborating with the Die Hard star. After that phone call, he went on to do five more action movies with Willis, reportedly using the A-lister as a cash cow for Emmett/Furla Oasis, his former production company with partner George Furla.
When the couple needed a cash injection to pay off their debts, they discussed making “another Bulls-t-Bruce Willis movie,” according to former assistant Anna Szymanska.
The numerous allegations throughout the LA Times story have been denied by Emmett. He said the tearful conversation with Kent did not take place and that he was unaware of Willis’ deteriorating health. In a statement to The Post, his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: “Randall is extremely proud of the work he and Bruce Willis have done over the past 15 years. In every single film they have worked on together, Bruce enjoyed being on set, playing golf, going out to dinner and communicating with the crew. If Bruce didn’t want to be on set, he wouldn’t have been there. One of the greatest actors of his time, Willis was wanted by several production companies until his recent retirement. Randall counts him among his closest friends.”
Emmett has carved a niche for himself in Tinseltown producing bad movies starring aging action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Willis, the latter of whom reportedly made $2 million for two days’ work. While direct-to-DVD flops domestically, the strips were financial successes in international markets.
The Miami native rose through the showbiz ranks at a frantic pace, first becoming part of Mark Wahlberg’s real-life entourage as an assistant and then shooting the hit “Lone Survivor” with his old boss. As his manufacturing credits grew, so did his lavish lifestyle, which included flying private jets and driving a Rolls-Royce – both of which he flaunted in “Vanderpump Rules.”
Then there was a 50-cent beef in 2019 that loaned Emmett, a producer on his show “Power,” $1 million. The rapper said he was late to pay off the debt and roasted Emmett and Kent on social media. The pair soon settled, but the Candy Shop artist taunted his old nemesis on Instagram after bombshell allegations of Emmett’s exploitation of Bruce Willis were released.
As of 2006, Willis appeared in two dozen EFO films, although his health was declining. On Wrong Place, one of the Sixth Sense star’s final films, he spent two days on set in Alabama, where he was fed leads through a pair of headphones.
Szymanska recalled that Willis always had an assistant at his side. However, she added, “When no one from Bruce’s team was around, the crew said how sad we were to see him in this condition.”
Willis’ attorney, Marty Singer, declined to be interviewed on the star’s behalf.
But the attorney defended Willis’ work with Emmett. “My client continued to work after his medical diagnosis because he wanted and could work, just like 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 involved in a custody battle over their 1-year-old daughter Ocean – for the salacious allegations.
Through a spokesperson, he characterized Kent’s claims as “false and part of a now-publicized smear campaign orchestrated by [his] Ex-fiancee to sway her custody battle. The couple split last October, and Kent later said Emmett’s relationship with a 23-year-old girl shortly after her birth was the reason.
In the LA Times article, Kent claimed that when she confronted her ex about her suspicions of cheating and tried to grab his phone, he assaulted her. Emmett and his longtime nanny denied this narrative, saying the fight was not physical.
“I used every ounce of strength to pry him off me as he tried to snatch it out of my hands,” Kent said, adding, “That’s when I knew for sure he had a lot to hide.”