Marlee Matlin's William Hurt Accusations Resurface After His Death

William Hurt died on Sunday at the age of 71, with tributes pouring in for the Hollywood legend and star of films like Body Heat, Children of a Lesser God and The Big Chill.

His death was announced by his son Will, who said he passed "peacefully, among family, of natural causes" just a week before his 72nd birthday.

Following the actor's death, his ex-partner, the actress Marlee Matlin, became a trending topic on Twitter as her accusations of physical and sexual abuse against Hurt resurfaced.

Hurt and Matlin had a high-profile relationship in the 80s after starring in Children of a Lesser God together, but the CODA star alleged that she was brutally beaten and raped by him in one incident.

Matlin shared details about their relationship in her 2009 memoir I'll Scream Later, in which she described, per The Daily Beast, a pattern of physical and emotional abuse.

The actress, who is deaf, alleged that on the night she won her Oscar for Children of a Lesser God, Hurt allegedly asked her: "What makes you think you deserve it? There are hundreds of actors who have worked for years for the recognition you just got handed to you. Think about that."

In another disturbing passage, she wrote of a night when Hurt arrived home and assaulted her while she was sleeping in bed.

"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," she wrote. "I was crying. 'No, no, no. Please Bill, no.' The next thing I remember is Bill ramming himself inside me as I sobbed."

Hurt responded to the allegations in a 2009 interview with E! News.

"My own recollection is we both apologized and both did a great deal to heal our lives," Hurt said at the time. "Of course, I did and do apologize for any pain I caused."

Following his death, Matlin paid tribute to her former partner Hurt during a red carpet interview at the Critic's Choice Awards.

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

Matlin's accusations have sparked a conversation on Twitter in the wake of Hurt's death.

"It's sad that William Hurt died. He was a great actor. But it's also important to remember he hurt women. Quite badly, in fact," tweeted Fox News' Janice Dean.

While writer Roslyn Talusan added: "you don't have to feel bad for mourning his passing, but a gentle reminder that marlee matlin has spoken about william hurt abusing her during her relationship."

A number of celebrities have paid tribute to Hurt's life and career, including Piers Morgan and Topher Grace.

Marlee Matlin, William Hurt
Actress Marlee Matlin and actor William Hurt arrive at the 1987 Academy Awards. Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images