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Russell Crowe Arrested ‘for hitting hotel worker with phone’

Russell Crowe, the actor with a flammable mix of temper, bad-boy reputation, and a new picture to promote, was detained in a SoHo hotel yesterday morning after assaulting a desk clerk with a phone because he couldn’t reach his wife in Australia, according to the police.

Crowe’s humiliating day began at 4 a.m. in a $US3,000 ($A3,925) a night room in SoHo’s opulent Mercer Hotel, when he attempted to phone Danielle Spencer at their Sydney residence.

He summoned a staffer to his room just after 4 a.m., became agitated, and threw the phone at his face, inflicting a “minor laceration,” according to the police.

The employee was sent to the hospital for treatment. Mr Crowe was taken to the local police station and charged with assault in the second degree. He appeared in court later that day. There were witnesses to the event, according to Chad Sjoquist, an assistant district attorney.

If convicted of both counts, Crowe faces up to eight years in jail alongside murderers, thieves, and rapists.

Crowe’s lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, claimed the actor grew angry when he couldn’t get through on the phone and proceeded to the lobby, where he got into a dispute with a hotel employee.

Mr Lefcourt stated, “He [Crowe] has never been arrested in this country. He is very, very charitable, a decent human being with an excellent background.”

“I’m at the bottom of a well. I can’t communicate how dark my life is right now,” Crowe told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Crowe’s publicist, Robin Baum, claims that hotel staffer Nestor Estrada was unhelpful when the actor complained about being unable to make a long-distance call to Sydney.

Crowe did throw a phone, but it landed on a wall rather than Estrada’s face, according to Baum.

“After asking the front desk several times to replace a faulty phone in his room – and getting only attitude from the clerk on duty – Crowe brought the phone down to the front desk in an effort to address the situation in person,” Baum said in a statement.

“Words were exchanged and Crowe wound up throwing the phone against the wall. He regrets that he lost his temper, but at no time did he assault anyone or touch any hotel employee.”

Crowe apologized many times for the event on Monday, claiming that it was completely his mistake.

Crowe, 41, stated, “I’ve got no excuses.”

“I’m in a lot of trouble, I’ll do my best to solve the situation in an honourable way. I’m very sorry for my actions,” he told the newspaper.

Crowe was sober and cooperative when he was arrested, according to police, and one officer described him as a “perfect gentleman,” while some sources claim he used vulgar language.

According to the New York Daily News, Crowe allegedly told cops, “F*** me, I’m sorry.”

“I really didn’t mean to hit the guy. I just wanted to get the f***ing phones to work.”

Crowe’s Cinderella Man promotional tour was tarnished last week, first when he publicly criticized his co-star Craig Bierko’s performance, and then when he failed to show up for a round of media interviews.