Russell Crowe, who pleaded guilty last year to third-degree assault for throwing a phone at a hotel clerk, says the incident would be downplayed in his home country of Australia.
“Where I come from, a confrontation like that, as basic and simple as that, would have been satisfied with a handshake and an apology,” the 42-year-old actor tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview set to air Sunday.
When correspondent Steve Kroft suggests Crowe’s stardom was a factor in his predicament, Crowe replies, “And your legal system is very open to be misused.”
Crowe was arrested after flying into a rage last June when he had trouble calling his wife in Australia from his room at the Mercer Hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo district.
Crowe says he “absolutely” regrets the incident, which he blames on his bad temper — a necessary evil, he feels.
“You got to have [a temper],” he tells Kroft. “You know what happens when you don’t have one? One day you’re walking down the street and you just pop.”
Crowe, who won the Academy Award for best actor in 2001 for “Gladiator,” will next be seen in the romantic dramedy, “A Good Year,” in theaters Nov. 10.