It's just been announced that he'll star as the Earl of Pembroke in Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood,” along with award-winning actors Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.
So it’s a bad time for shocking revelations about his past — including alleged physical abuse — detailed in a new book by his former girlfriend, "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Marlee Matlin, titled “I’ll Scream Later.”
In 1987 Matlin became the first deaf actress to win an Oscar for her role opposite Hurt in “Children of a Lesser God."
But here’s what we didn’t know. “I was afraid. I was always afraid …of him,” Matlin told "Access Hollywood’s" Nancy O’Dell. “But I loved him. I did. Or maybe I thought I did. But look, I was 19, he was 35.”
“I always had fresh bruises everyday,” the actress revealed. “And if I had a split lip, or if … I mean, there were a lot of things that happened that were not pleasant.”
They lived together for two years. She called Hurt "one of the most complex persons that I’ve ever dealt with." But the actress never pressed charges.
“I was so wrapped up in his world and my drugs…. I was 19 and I was alone in New York City. I had no friends there except my drug dealer,” Matlin explained.
Matlin admits she was addicted to cocaine and pot and claims that Hurt was an alcoholic who later sought treatment through Alcoholics Anonymous. She credits her tumultuous relationship with Hurt for getting her into the Betty Ford Clinic, which is where she was when she got the call about her Oscar nomination.
Matlin did not contact Hurt to let him know about her autobiography.
“He knows what happened, I know what happened. We both were there,” Matlin told "Access Hollywood."
Are you shocked by these allegations?
Photo: William Hurt and Marlee Matlin at the Tony Awards in 1987. Credit: WireImage