Rumer Willis Celebrates Six Months of Sobriety

By Paul Gaita 07/05/17

The "Empire" actress took to Instagram to share her sobriety milestone with fans. 

Rumer Willis

Actress Rumer Willis surprised many by revealing in a recent Instagram post that she has been sober for six months.

In her post, the Empire talent and Season 20 winner of Dancing with the Stars wrote of her sobriety milestone, "I will be the first to say I'm not perfect and I mess up sometimes and every once in a while I get it right but I wanted to share this because I am really proud of myself."

Willis—whose mother, actress Demi Moore, and younger sister Tallulah Willis have also endured issues with substance use—noted that her path to sobriety was "something [she] had planned on, but after the long journey getting here I can honestly say I have never been more proud of myself in my entire life." Willis, whose father is actor Bruce Willis, capped the post by thanking her followers and reminding them to "be gentle with yourself."

Willis—who plays Tory Ash, a troubled musician modeled in part after Amy Winehouse—on Empire, has not generated the same level of intense scrutiny from the press about substance use that her mother and sister have, though she has been associated with several instances in the past decade. Willis was present in a Maryland hotel room where police arrested a man for marijuana possession in 2007, and was reported to have been present at her mother's home when Moore suffered a seizure after inhaling what was believed to be nitrous oxide in 2012.

Both Moore and her daughter Tallulah have sought treatment for their particular substance use disorders—in Moore's case, she's attended rehab on several occasions, though it's unknown if Rumer Willis sought any medical or therapeutic assistance.

Issues of self-perception and body image have also had a serious impact on both Tallulah and Rumer Willis. For Tallulah, negative comments from anonymous online critics pushed her into depression that manifested itself through substance use, prompting a 45-day stint in rehab. "I can say that I'm getting to that place where I'm starting to feel okay with myself, bit by bit," she wrote in a 2015 feature for Teen Vogue.

And on an episode of Dancing with the Stars, Rumer also spoke about how comments from social media and tabloid magazines weighed heavily on her own self-image, and how Tallulah's attempts to seek help for her issues gave her strength. "My sister Tallulah was in rehab, and I was inspired because she didn't try to hide from it," said Willis. "She got in this mindset of saying, 'Here are my flaws and it's okay. I'm still me and I'm still beautiful and it doesn't matter.' I just realized that I could feel the same way."

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.