Crowe-ing It Alone

Has Oscar-winner RussellCrowe’s penchant for acting out hurt his prospects as an actor? Hollywoodinsiders say the roughneck thespian is so concerned about studios second-guessinghis bankability in the wake of his phone-throwing imbroglio that he’sstarting his own production company to ensure his leading man-hood. Butit’s not just the blowback from the June 6 incident at the Mercer Hotel inNew York that has him worried. Crowe’s antics—onset andoff—have alienated his colleagues for years.

“Directors—otherthan Ron Howard—really dislike him, and no woman in herright mind wants to work with him,” says a prominent Hollywood insider.“Even Paul Bettany [Crowe’s two-time co-star] isscared to death of him.”

Crowe believes his own production house willhelp him avoid the indignity of supporting roles(or—crikey—Australian TV) if his public goodwillcontinues to decline. “He knows he’s getting older,”notes our source. “He doesn’t want to end up a characteractor.” Meanwhile, Crowe is still doing damage control. Our source says hejust shelled out $250,000 for a pear-shaped diamond ring for his wife Danielleas an apology for assaulting Mercer concierge Nestor Estrada.But perhaps he should have sent his alleged victim one as well.

In a statementreleased yesterday, Estrada’s headline-loving lawyer, Eric Franz, said,“Crowe is a man whose violent history demonstrates that he first respondsto his rage and then responds to his ratings,” adding that a formalcomplaint against the actor will be filed in court next week. Crowe’slong-suffering publicist, Robin Baum, did not return calls oremails seeking comment by press time.

Previously: Legal Eagle Eats Crowe

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