William Hurt’s Former Partner Comes Forward with Domestic Violence Claims

Days after the death of William Hurt, the actor’s former long-term partner Donna Kaz has shared her response to the news and opened up about the abuse she suffered at the actor’s hands.

In a guest column for Variety, Kaz looked back at her relationship with the late actor, which began in 1977 and officially ended in 1980 — though they would still see each other a few times per year until 1989. “Bill would snap, physically shove, punch and beat me, followed by tears, apologies and him offering me expensive gifts,” she wrote. “When the battering began I sloughed it off. He said he was sorry. Perhaps I instigated it. I only had to visit the ER once. It was only after many, many years I admitted to myself that I was the victim of domestic violence.”

The author of 2016’s Un/Masked: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl on Tour, which previously explored Hurt’s abuse and her path to becoming a domestic violence advocate, explained that she was able to put an accurate yet painful label on her experience as a survivor once she began volunteering for the L.A. Rape and Battery Hotline in 1992.

“William Hurt died on March 13,” she continued. “There have been accolades all over social media, the press and television since then about his acting, his awards, his career. I agree with all of them. But I must also use a good deal of energy to prevent his memory from sitting down next to me and abusing me all over again. In writing this I had to let him live again for a moment or two. And in that moment there was sorrow, regret, anger, and a dream of reconciliation that will never be.”

Kaz joins two other previous girlfriends, including Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, who have spoken out in the past about Hurt abusing them during their respective relationships with him, even as his career continued to grow with roles in films like Broadcast News, The Big Chill, A History of Violence, Captain America: Civil War, and Black Widow.

Read Kaz’s full column here.