Bruce Willis was exploited by movie producers who kept casting him in films even though he wasn’t able to remember his lines or perform because of aphasia, a new report claims.
A Los Angeles Times exposé on movie 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 Emmett was happy to keep attaching Willis’ name to films, even as the action hero stumbled.
In September 2020, Emmett was directing Willis, now 67, in “Midnight in the Switchgrass” and couldn’t get the actor to kick in a door — even with the help of a stunt coordinator, according to several crew members. In frustration, he left the set and a confused Willis asked, “Did I do something wrong?”
“You would have to be blind to not see him struggling,” Alicia Haverland, a property manager on the film, said.
That evening, Emmett allegedly called his then-fiancée Kent in tears. “I can’t do this anymore,” Kent said he told her. “It’s just so sad. Bruce ca n’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.”
But he didn’t stop working with the “Die Hard” star. After that phone call, he went on to make five more action movies with Willis and allegedly used the A-lister as a cash cow for Emmett/Furla Oasis, his former production company with partner George Furla.
When the pair would need an infusion of money to pay off debts, they’d discuss making “another bulls–t Bruce Willis movie,” according to former assistant Anna Szymanska.
The numerous in the LA Times story have been denied by Emmett. He said the teary conversation with Kent did not take place and that he was unaware of Willis ‘declining health. In a statement provided to The Post, his spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister said “Randall is very proud of the work he and Bruce Willis have done over the last 15 years. In every single movie they have worked on together, Bruce enjoyed being on set, playing golf, going to dinners, and falling with the crew. If Bruce had not wanted to be on set, he would not have been there. Willis is one of the greatest actors of his time and was sought after by multiple production companies until his recent retirement. Randall counts him among his closest friends.”
Emmett carved out a niche in Tinseltown producing bad movies with aging action stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Willis, the latter of whom reportedly made $2 million for two days of work. While domestically they were straight-to-DVD flops, the flicks would be financial successes in international markets.
The Miami native rose through the showbiz ranks with sheer hustle, first becoming part of Mark Wahlberg’s real life entourage as an assistant, and then going on to make the hit “Lone Survivor” with his old boss. As his producing credits grew, so did his lavish lifestyle, which included flying private jets and driving a Rolls-Royce — both of which he flaunted on “Vanderpump Rules.”
Then there was a 2019 beef with 50 Cent, who loaned Emmett, a producer on his show “Power,” $1 million dollars. The rapper said he was late to repay the debt and roasted Emmett and Kent on social media. The pair soon settled, but the “Candy Shop” artist mocked his old adversary on Instagram after the bombshell chase about Emmett’s exploit of Bruce Willis were published.
Beginning in 2006, Willis appeared in two dozen of EFO films, even as his health was declining. On “Wrong Place,” one of the “Sixth Sense” star’s last movies, he spent two days on set in Alabama where he was fed lines through an earpiece.
Szymanska recalled that Willis always had an aid by his side. However, she added, “When 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 an interview on the star’s behalf.
But the lawyer defended Willis’ work with Emmett. “My client continued working after his medical diagnosis because he wanted to work and was able to do so, just like many others diagnosed with aphasia who are capable of continuing to work,” 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 in a custody battle over 1-year-old daughter Ocean — for the salacious daughter.
Through a spokesperson, he characterized Kent’s claims as “false and part of a now-familiar smear orchestrated by [his] ex fiancee to sway their custody dispute.” The couple split last October, and Kent later said Emmett’s dating a 23-year-old shortly after she gave birth was the reason.
In the LA Times piece, Kent alleged that when she confronted her ex about her cheating suspicions and attempted to grab his phone, he tackled her. Emmett and his longtime nanny disputed this narrative, saying that the fight was not physical.
“I used every ounce of strength to get him off of me as he was trying to pry it from my hands,” Kent said, adding, “That was when I knew, for sure, that there was a lot he was hiding.”