Marlee Matlin Opens Up About Ex William Hurt's Complicated Legacy

Actress Marlee Matlin was born in a small Illinois town called Morton Grove, per Biography. She grew up in a loving and supportive family, and after she lost her hearing due to illness at a young age, her parents did everything they could for her, including enrolling her in classes at the Center For Deafness. It was there that she first discovered a love of acting. After getting her start in theater, Matlin become a big screen success thanks to her leading role in "Children Of A Lesser God," according to Biography. As her career matured, the rising star landed roles in hit TV series such as "Desperate Housewives" and "The West Wing," as well as in movies like "Spin City" and "Excision," per IMDb.

While she made waves for her time onscreen, Matlin was also known for her personal relationships offscreen. According to Who's Dated Who, she has been romantically linked to other big stars, including John Stamos, Rob Lowe, and William Hurt. It was the latter of these three exes that garnered media attention, as Matlin accused Hurt of emotional and physical abuse in her 2009 memoir, "I'll Scream Later," as The Daily Beast reported. After Hurt died on March 13, 2022, Matlin's allegations resurfaced when a reporter asked the actress for a comment.

Marlee Matlin shares a rocky history with William Hurt

According to Deadline, William Hurt died of prostate cancer. "It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday," Hurt's son said in a statement. While thousands mourned the late star, Hurt did have a bit of a checkered past. More specifically, both his exes Marlee Matlin and Sandra Jennings had previously accused him of abuse. In her memoir "I'll Scream Later," Matlin alleged that Hurt once came home drunk to rape and beat her, while Jennings said that Hurt was physically and verbally abusive during their time together, per The Daily Beast. For his part, Hurt told Access Hollywood that "[Matlin and I] both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives."

In the wake of Hurt's death, Matlin appeared to be shocked when a reporter asked for her thoughts. However, rather than dredge up her past accusations of abuse, she had nothing but kind words to say about her ex. "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 responded, according to Page Six. "He taught me a great deal as an actor and he was one-of-a-kind." At the time, Matlin refrained from commenting on their romantic relationship, though that may change in the future.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).