April 13, 2009

Matlin talks about past drug abuse

U.S. actress Marlee Matlin says she was molested by a female babysitter, lost her virginity to a male teacher in high school and long battled drug dependency.

Matlin, a deaf actress who won an Oscar for her work in the 1986 movie Children of a Lesser God, discussed the painful experiences in her past on Access Hollywood, while promoting her new book I'll Scream Later, due out later this month.

Matlin, who was in rehabilitation at the Betty Ford Center when she was nominated for the Oscar, recalled in the interview: Nothing made me happy except the drugs, that's how bad it was. I could have easily smoked 20 joints a day.

The actress, who had a recurring role on TV's The West Wing, also talked about a relationship she had with actor William Hurt at the time. Although she described it as volatile, she also credited Hurt with supporting her when she decided to go to rehabilitation.

I can safely say that if it weren't for him, I probably would not be sitting here, Matlin said on Access Hollywood.

Matlin said she hadn't contacted Hurt to tell him about the book.

He knows what happened. I know what happened. We both were there, the actress said.

Access Hollywood said it reached out to Hurt's representatives, but they hadn't offered a comment by press time.

Matlin married a police officer in 1993. They have four children together.