"You're the first person to ask me a question about him."
Marlee Matlin was asked about William Hurt's passing on the Critics Choice Awards red carpet, 13 years after describing their relationship in her 2009 memoir "I'll Scream Later" as physically and sexually abusive.
"You're the first person to ask me a question about him," the CODA star, who is deaf, told ET Canada through her interpreter.
After a very pregnant pause, she continued.
"We've lost a really great actor and working with him on set in 'Children of a Lesser God' will always be something I remember very fondly," she said, carefully choosing her words.
"He taught me a great deal as an actor and he was one-of-a-kind."
The 56-year-old Oscar-winner dated the late actor for two years in the mid-eighties, when she was 19 and he was 35.
In her memoir, she claimed their relationship was one of violence and abuse. She recounted several alleged incidents in which she was left with bruises, black eyes and split lips; she said she even fretted the make-up department would notice her bruised legs in scenes they were filming together.
In one particularly disturbing excerpt, published by The Daily Beast, she recalled him coming home at 4:30 AM, drunk, from the set of his Oscar-nominated "Broadcast News".
"The next thing I knew he’d pulled me out of the bed, screaming at me, shaking me. I was scared, I was sobbing," she alleges in her book. "Then he threw me on the bed, started ripping off his clothes and mine. I was crying. 'No, no, no. Please Bill, no.' The next thing I remember is Bill ramming himself inside me as I sobbed."
Hurt was the one who presented Matlin with the 1987 Academy Award for Best Actress for her debut role in their film "Children of a Lesser God", making her the first ever deaf performer to win an Oscar. But in the limo after the ceremony, instead of being happy for her, she said he berated her.
"What makes you think you deserve it?" he demanded, per her memoir. "There are hundreds of actors who have worked for years for the recognition you just got handed to you. Think about that."
After the publication of the book, Hurt apologized, and did not deny the accusations.
"My own recollection is we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives," he told E! News at the time, according to Newsweek. "Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused."
Hurt's son Will confirmed to Deadline on Sunday that the four-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner had passed, one week shy of his 72nd birthday.
"He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes," his son said in a statement. "The family requests privacy at this time."
In May of 2018 it was revealed the actor had terminal prostate cancer that had spread to his bones.
Source: Full Feed | Toofab.com https://toofab.com/2022/03/14/marlee-matlin-asked-on-red-carpet-about-death-of-ex-william-hurt-whom-she-accused-of-abuse/