the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Russell Crowe Phones Home


Russell Crowe was arrested in New York for allegedly throwing a telephone at a hotel employee early Monday morning, according to a police report obtained by CNN.

Authorities say the New Zealand-born actor, 41, was upset that he could not place a call to Australia on his phone at the Mercer Hotel in SoHo.  (via Martinis, Persistence, and a Smile)

I did a little searching if I could find any more details, but couldn’t.   I’ve never actually seen anyone throw a phone at anyone, so I was curious about the details.

I made up two possible scenarios:

Russell calls room service and an attendant, a young Indian-born man, come to his room.  Russell starts screaming about the phone not working right.  The attendant says he’ll speak to management right away and Russell rips the phone from the wall and says, "here’s your fucking phone!" and throws it at his head.


Russell goes to the front desk, a scowl on his face, upset that Cinderella Man isn’t doing very well at the box office.  The attractive girl at the desk, a NYU film student from New Jersey,  is excited to meet the actor. 

"Can I help you, Mr. Crowe?" she asks. 

"What the fuck is wrong with this hotel!" he screams. 

He reaches behind the desk and lifts up the telephone to show it to her. 

"Do you know what this is?!" 

"A telephone?" 

"That’s fucking right!" 

And then he throws it at her head.

UPDATE:  It’s now later in the day and more information is out.  The clerk was a male.   Robin Baum, Crowe’s publicist, spins it like this:

"Frustrated by a clerk’s unwillingness to help him put through a phone call to his family in Australia, Russell Crowe was involved in a minor altercation at the Mercer Hotel earlier this morning… 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. 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."

Ok, now it’s been cleared up.   He only threw the phone against the wall, something we all do at a Holiday Inn every once in a while.


  1. Richard

    This alll happened at 4:20 in the morning. If you wanted a phone repaired at 4:20 AM and you couldn’t get what you wanted RIGHT NOW, wouldn’t YOU pitch a screaming hissy fit as well?

  2. Neil

    Damn right! That’s why I never stay at these trendy downtown hotels. You want quality — it’s Quality Inn.

  3. Lawren

    HA! I like your scenarios! 🙂

  4. Not a Mercer Fan

    RE: Crowe sorry for phone tantrum

    I’ll tell ya, if it was me (and I’m not a violent woman in any sense), I would’ve aimed the phone at their heads.

    First hand, I can vouch for the fact that employees of The Mercer Hotel (where the incident happened) are nothing short of rude, impersonal, and incompetent – displaying an exorbitant air of snobbery towards guests. Even for the ‘normal’ room rate they charge, the Mercer staff should be kissing the ground that guests walk on.

    Though Crowe may be infamous for his short temper, these people are just another sorry example of someone trying to ‘cash in’ any way they can. Having Crowe arrested was just the first step in setting him up for big civil lawsuit – just watch and see.

  5. Neil

    If I have a cellphone, why doesn’t Russell Crowe?

    And while I too can vouch for the Mercer’s snobbish attitude towards nobodies like me, do you really think the staff was so stupid to be rude to a big (and tempestuous) Hollywood star like Mr. Crowe?

  6. Not a Mercer Fan

    RE: Mercer Staff

    I’m not what you term a ‘nobody’ – and the answer to your question? YES – I whole heartedly believe that their unfounded elitest attitude and blatent incompentence would extend over to Mr. Crowe as well.

  7. Sophia

    < Even for the ‘normal’ room rate they charge, the Mercer staff should be kissing the ground that guests walk on.>

    Yeah, you’re right, the room rates they charge must be going straight to the staff pockets. I am sure all these bellboys and receptionists that probably get minimum wage, have stock in the Mercer enterprise, and are going to be millionaires by New Year’s, if they’re not already…

    Besides, anyone who is upset should always aim large objects at people’s heads. Next time the waiter doesn’t bring your appetizers quickly enough – try the wine bottle – it has excellent velocity.

  8. Jim

    Hey, Not A Mercer Fan, are you his lawyer or his PR?

    I just saw you posting the exact same comment on another blog:


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