The following story contains discussion of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Oscar-winning actor William Hurt died on March 13, 2022, and many colleagues paid tribute to the late star, such as Mark Ruffalo, Patton Oswald, and M. Night Shyamalan. Netizens also recognized Hurt's remarkable body of work, but some brought up his controversial relationship with actor Marlee Matlin.
Hurt and Matlin starred together in "Children of a Lesser God," and Matlin became the first-ever deaf actor to win an Oscar for her performance. However, in her memoir "I'll Scream Later," Matlin shared that Hurt abused her, from lesser jabs such as asking her if she "even deserved" her Oscar to much heavier accusations.
Matlin recalled Hurt coming home drunk, "and the next thing I knew he'd pulled me out of the bed, screaming at me, shaking me." She went on to describe Hurt sexually assaulting her, and also told Access Hollywood, "I always had fresh bruises every day... There were a lot of things that happened that were not pleasant."
Hurt didn't make an effort to dispute Matlin's claims, and instead offered a public apology. "My own recollection is that we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives. Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused," he said. "I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good."