Russell Crowe says he believes the media blew his phone-throwing incident out of proportion.
The Oscar-winning actor pleaded guilty earlier this month to third-degree assault, admitting to a judge that he threw a phone that hit a New York hotel concierge in June. He had to pay a $160 court charge and was sentenced to conditional discharge, which means he must not get arrested for one year.
"I got a $160 court-cost fine for something that would have had more newsprint about it than some very horrific and specific things that we should know about in our community," he told reporters in Melbourne.
Had Crowe been convicted of the more serious charges initially filed against him — assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the telephone — he could have lost his right to work in the United States and might have faced seven years of prison time.
"Traveling businessmen get touchy or testy with hotel staff in every major city all around the world," Crowe said. "That doesn't excuse the fact that I lost my temper ... What I did was stupid. I admitted that straight away."
Crowe, 41, who won the Academy Award for best actor in 2001 for "Gladiator," has also starred in such films as "A Beautiful Mind" and "Cinderella Man."