Growing up in the spotlight can’t be easy, but Rumer Willis and her sisters were lucky enough to have not just each other but also two loving, nurturing parents. As the Dancing With the Stars contestant told Larry King on Monday, March 16, former Hollywood super couple Bruce Willis and Demi Moore did everything they could to provide a stable family environment for their three kids — even after they split in 2000.
“I was 10. I mean, I think at that time I didn’t have as much of an understanding of the public side of it to have that affect me as much,” Rumer, 26, explained to the former CNN host on his Ora.TV show, Larry King Now. “But I have to say, I’m so thankful and grateful that my parents made such an effort at that time.”
The stars — who married in 1987 and share daughters Rumer, Scout, 23, and Tallulah, 21 — stayed friendly during and after their divorce, often posing together on the red carpet. Moore’s third hubby, Ashton Kutcher, even joined them for a now-famous family photo-op back in 2007, at the premiere of Willis’ Live Free or Die Hard. More recently, the exes reunited in the audience of DWTS on March 16, when Rumer made her big debut with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Willis’ wife Emma Heming, with whom he has two young daughters, was also in attendance.
“I never had to split up vacations or split up birthdays,” Rumer told King. “They always made an effort to do all of the family events still together and made such an effort to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact.”
That’s not to say the attention wasn’t difficult at times, though. “I think one of the hardest parts was growing up with having your whole life kind of be on display and have people have an opinion about it,” she mused. “Before you learn how to kind of get a tough skin or to really just have confidence in who you are without letting other people’s opinions affect that, that can sometimes be really hard and really get you down.”
Thankfully, she had a good role model in her mom. The Sorority Row actress credits Moore, 52, with teaching her how to carry herself through life, fame or no fame.
“She’s very strong, and I think I’ve learned a lot of the integrity that I try to hold for myself and everything that I do and the value that I try and put out in the world [from her],” Rumer shared. “She always says, ‘Live in whatever your integrity is, and go out to the world and present yourself how you want to present yourself and how you want people to see you.'”
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