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Russell Crowe arrested in New York

Australian actor Russell Crowe was arrested Monday morning for allegedly throwing a telephone at an employee of the Manhattan hotel where he was staying
/ Source: The Associated Press

Russell Crowe was arrested and charged Monday for allegedly throwing a telephone at an employee of the Manhattan hotel where he was staying.

Crowe, 41, who plays a boxer in his latest film, “Cinderella Man,” allegedly threw the phone at the concierge at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo, “hitting him in the face and causing a laceration and substantial pain,” according to the complaint.

The Australian movie star was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon — the telephone — before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Martin Murphy. The assault charge is punishable by seven years in prison.

“This arose because he was trying to get his wife on the phone in Australia,” his lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, told reporters earlier outside the police precinct where Crowe was booked. “He was in his room. He couldn’t get a line and there was a disagreement.”

Police said Crowe left his room and went to the front desk where the alleged confrontation took place.

The prosecution told the judge that Crowe admitted to a police officer that he picked up the phone and threw it because he was angry.

Assistant District Attorney Chad Sjoquist asked the judge to set $5,000 bail, but Murphy released Crowe on his own recognizance and told him to return to court Sept. 14.

After Crowe was processed at the police precinct, he was led out in handcuffs to a police sport utility vehicle for the ride to criminal court. A horde of media, including a news helicopter hovering overhead, descended on him. Crowe, wearing dark shades, a blue bomber-style jacket and jeans, declined comment.

Crowe is married to actress Danielle Spencer and they have a 17-month-old son, Charles Spencer Crowe.

He won an Oscar for his role in 2000’s “Gladiator.”

“Cinderella Man,” Ron Howard’s story of Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock, had a lackluster opening this weekend, debuting at No. 4 with an estimated $18.6 million at the box office.

Universal had counted on a better debut for the film, which reunites Howard, Crowe and producer Brian Grazer, the team behind the 2001 Academy Awards champion “A Beautiful Mind.”