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Crowe pulls a Tyson on bodyguard's ear

Actor says scuffle was over a misunderstanding about something Crowe overheard.
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Gladiator” star Russell Crowe took the blame for his latest battle — a fight with his own bodyguard — saying it was sparked by a misunderstanding at a drinks party for the cast and crew of a movie he was shooting.

The Oscar-winning actor made headlines in Australia recently by scuffling with Mark “Spud” Carroll, a former rugby league star who now is his bodyguard, in Toronto where Crowe is shooting his latest movie, “The Cinderella Man.”

Reports said New Zealand-born Crowe, who engaged in highly publicized brawls before he got married last year, even chomped on Carroll’s ear during the fight.

But in a letter to The Sunday Herald Sun tabloid, Crowe said the punch-up was sparked by a misunderstanding and said the pair made up the next day.

Crowe said he had been talking to a young woman who was an extra on the film and a friend of both men as the cast and crew gathered for post-shoot drinks.

Carroll approached Crowe and told him what he thought people might be imagining the pair’s conversation was about.

“I thought he was accusing me specifically of something and I took offense to it,” Crowe said in the letter.

Carroll also wrote to the newspaper and denied reports Crowe had bitten his ear.

“That never happened, simple as that,” he said. “He did take a nip at my chest — I was trying to smother him at the time, so I can understand the move.”

Crowe said they “called each other a few ripe names, had a hug and got on with the job.”