From CBS today:
Russell Crowe, who pleaded guilty to third degree assault and had to pay off his American victim under the threat of a lawsuit, says the U.S. legal system is open to misuse. The Oscar-winning actor discusses the incident, in which he threw a telephone at a hotel clerk, in an interview with Steve Kroft to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 5 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Crowe takes his shot at U.S. law when Kroft suggests his stardom was a factor in his predicament. “And your legal system is very open to be misused,” he retorts. The Australian actor “absolutely” regrets the episode, telling Kroft that it was “unreasonable” on his part to take his frustration out on the clerk who could not complete a call to his wife in Australia. But the star says throwing the telephone at him was “minor” and, “Where I come from, a confrontation like that, as basic and simple as that, would have been satisfied with a handshake and an apology.”
Instead, he was arrested and ultimately paid a $160 fine for his guilty plea. The amount of the settlement with his victim was never revealed.
It was a regrettable incident that Crowe chalks up to his temper, an essential trait he believes he doesn’t have a problem with and needs to maintain his health. “Oh, hell yeah, absolutely…I have a temper. You got to have [a temper],” he tells Kroft. “You know what happens when you don’t have one? One day you’re walking down the street and you just pop,” says Crowe. “You’re lying there on the pavement because you’ve been holding, suppressing all this bull*&$#.”
Crowe also discusses his career, his desire for more children and that he expects not honors for his much-praised performances, but a perception among his audience. “There should be some understanding between me and the audience that…if I’ve [played the role], one, I’ve put a lot of effort into it. And two, there’s something about it that’ll touch their heart,” he says