Marlee Matlin has “fond memories” of William Hurt.

Marlee Matlin paid tribute to William Hurt

Marlee Matlin paid tribute to William Hurt

The 'CODA' actress' former partner - who she previously accused of being abusive during their two-year relationship - passed away on Sunday (13.03.22) and despite their personal issues, the 57-year-old actress focused on the career of her 'Children of a Lesser God' co-star when asked about his death.

Asked about William's passing on the red carpet at the Critics Choice awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Marlee - who is deaf - initially struggled to respond as she shrugged her shoulders and held up her hands before signing: "You're the first person to ask me about him."

She then paused and continued to 'Entertainment Tonight': "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.

"He taught me a great deal as an actor and he was one-of-a-kind."

Despite her words, in 2009, Marlee - who was just 19 when she began her relationship with the actor - accused her former partner of repeatedly physically, emotionally, and sexually abusing her throughout their romance.

In her memoir, 'I'll Scream Later', she alleged the 'Into the Wold' actor had brutally raped her on one occasion when he came home drunk.

She wrote: "The next thing I knew he’d pulled me out of the bed, screaming at me, shaking me.

"I was scared, I was sobbing. 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."

In a statement issued afterwards, William didn't deny Marlee's allegations but insisted they had both "apologised" to one another.

He said: "My own recollection is that we both apologised and both did a great deal to heal our lives.

"Of course, I did and do apologise for any pain I caused. And I know we both have grown. I wish Marlee and her family nothing but good."

News of the 'History of Violence' actor's passing was announced by his family on Sunday.

They said in a statement: “'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 … He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”

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