Matlin said that when she got word of her Oscar nomination she was in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic. When asked for her reaction, trying not to give her location away, Matlin replied "I'll scream later," unknowingly giving herself a title for her future memoir.
And even though she looked happy on Oscar night, in her purple dress, holding her award, "It was all Hollywood," she said.
While she describes her relationship with Hurt as abusive, she credits him with pushing her into rehab.
"It absolutely turned my life around," she told "GMA." "And in all honesty, if it wasn't for William Hurt, I wouldn't be in rehab. And I wouldn't be here. In some way he was the one who encouraged me to go and help myself. And I guess that was a big turning point in my life."
Matlin is now encouraging anyone else who may be in the same situation to get out and get help.
"It's absolutely not worth the life that you lead whether you are in an abuse or mental relationship," she said. "There is a world out there that's better than the life you're in now."