June 9, 2005

The actor and the concierge.

I saw Russell Crowe on Letterman last night. He was squirming and twitching his way through an apology:
Crowe told Dave he was frustrated with the hotel's poor phone service because he was ``trying to fill my basic obligations to my wife who needs to know that I'm, you know, at home, I'm in bed, I haven't had too much to drink and that, primely important, that I'm alone.''

I'm assuming you follow the celebrity news. If not: Russell Crowe threw a telephone at a concierge named Nestor Estrada. The concierge, who was hit in the face, received minor lacerations and a glisteningly perfect cause of action.

Estrada's not talking to the press. My theory is that he's staying out of the public eye because he's really happy. Wouldn't you be, at this point?

Anyway, Letterman has always had a telephone on his desk, so he had the chance to do some funny business moving the phone far away from Crowe. Crowe obviously knows he's in trouble, and he's trying to salvage his life. So he grovelled like mad on camera for us. It was icky.

Unlike Nestor Estrada, who may be staying off camera because he needs to worry that he can't act duly sad and wounded, Crowe is a very capable actor, so however Crowe acted on Letterman last night is how he, along with his lawyers, has figured out it's best for him to act. Tell the story of how it's all about your deep devotion to your wife.

24 comments:

MrsWhatsit said...

So, let's get this straight. Whenever Crowe spends the night in a hotel room, he absolutely has to call his wife, not just to let her know that he's safe and sound, but "primely" to reassure her that he's alone? Makes you wonder about the marital history that created such an intense need for reassurance. When it comes to Crowe's devotion to his wife, I don't think he's telling the same story he seems to think he's telling!

Goesh said...

This is so unlike a gladiator or pro boxer to be throwing phones.

HaloJonesFan said...

Or a computer-generated psycho killer.

dax said...

Ok, so he threw a phone at the guy and cut him slightly. What can the charges be? Assault?
Look, I'm not condoning his actions by any stretch of the imagination but, it's not like he mugged the guy and beat him to a pulp.
And what's Estrada going to get out of this?? Get paid to drop the charges? If I'm Crowe, I'm offering him 50K to go away. Take it or leave it!

Dave said...

Someone tried to convince me that Crowe threw the phone because it didn't work.

Which raises the obvious question: why didn't he have a cell phone to use? Celebrities can afford cell phones. The Mercer Hotel has good cell phone reception, as I can personally attest.

So, a simple equation: possession of a cell phone plus using it equals not getting arrested.

I remain confused. There must have been something other than the fact that the phone didn't work.

Crowe's eating crow, no?

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: I know. Who uses the hotel phone anymore? I mean, aside from calling for some service inside the hotel, doesn't everyone use their cell phone? There's something fishy about the whole story.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann

I wouldn't say fishy. Just a celeb losing his temper at the help, probably paying him off, and then going on the talk show tour to burnish his rep for his next movie.

To me, the only surprising thing is that his agent pushed him to do this tour so quickly. I would have thought that he played the type of parts that being somewhat of a bad boy wouldn't hurt sales. And that, of course, is the bottom line. Sales.

Ann Althouse said...

Bruce, the part the struck me as fishy is the story that he was having a problem with the phone is his room. I think he would have had and preferred a cell phone to call his wife. He threw a phone, so maybe that was the motivation to concoct a story about being mad about the phone. I'm skeptical of that.

DrTony said...

I agree with mrswhatit. When I am out of town and call my wife, it's because I enjoy talking to her and sharing my day. There has never been, and will never be, a need to reassure her that I'm alone.

Likewise, my wife spends time out of town at dog shows and doesn't need to reassure me. Of course, most of the guys that are at those shows are probably asexuals anyway. :-)

Noumenon said...

Even minor lacerations will heal with a scar, don't think he just has a few little cuts to heal.

Richard said...

I hope the law gets applied to him equally as if applied to a garbage man assaulting someone with a phone. No doubt however, he'll get away with a slap on the wrist and a "we understand russell, it must be hard to be famous and rich".

Dave said...

In order for the "law" to be applied, the guy he threw the phone at has to pursue his claim, I believe. I don't think (but I could be wrong) that an incident of this nature rises to the level of the "law" getting involved without instigation from the victim.

I'm sure Crowe has more than enough money to pay off the guy, and avoid a trial.

Timothy K. Morris said...

Why use the hotel phone? Caller ID? So his wife knows where he was when he made the call. Yes, some cell phones have GPS capibility, but they can take forever to get a lock.

lindsey said...

What is the chance that Russell Crowe has a cell phone capable of making a call from NY to Australia? The man's never struck me as being adept at tiny electronics. Besides, with his temper, even if he did have a cell phone capable of making the call, he probably broke it by then.

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: Yes, most claims are settled, especially absolutely clear cut ones like this. Crowe can't say he was acting in self-defense or anything else that would make this not tortious. Can you think of any reason why Estrada wouldn't bring a claim -- aside from the likelihood that Crowe will actively try to settle the claim before hie files it?

Timothy: Good point. I guess they have real trust problems. He could still do the cell phone from the hotel and say the phone isn't working and try to prove he really is at the hotel. I suggest turning on the hotel TV, if it has a welcome-to-this-hotel channel.

Richard: If Estrada has scars, he'll get a bigger settlement. And for the rest of his life he can say this is the scar that Oscar-winner Russell Crowe paid $$$ for. And people will say to him: oh, that's your Russell Crowe scar!

Lindsey: Yeah, he probably already broke the thing. Good poiint. What cell phone doesn't cause frustration once in a while? He'd have to buy a weekly supply of the things.

Troy said...

I'm not naive, but is it possible, that given the lifestlye of a Hollywood celebrity he takes Herculean efforts to protect his marriage (obviously not his checkbook)? The trolls and hangers on that would love to have a picture, video, story to sell must be overwhelming...

Again, I ultimately don't care, it's his life he can do what he wants, but the pressure can get intense I wager.

Billy Graham had a travelling assistant. She stayed on different floors in the hotel, doors were open during meetings, and they never ate together alone. Why? 1.because he was a target -- all celebrities are -- and 2. he valued his marriage.

I don't expect anyone to buy a Russell Crow-Billy Graham analogy, but I'm gonna throw it out there.

It's easy for us -- unless some of you are really Tom Cruise or Bono or somebody... to sit in our non-famous existences and throw stones at someone who gets threats, stalkers, propositions, and handout begs every day all the time. Some they may bring on themselves, some are unexpected -- all seem to come with the territory. He'll write a check (or his liability policy will cover him) and he'll rake in millions on his next movie.

DaveG said...

So hotels have video phones now?? if not, how does a phone call prove "aloneness?"

That part of the story is clearly contrived, and as pointed out above, says more than it was probably intended to.

Troy said...

otoh.... he could just get anger management and alcohol rehab and then go on Oprah, write a book... This could be the beginning of the touchy feely Russell Crowe -- the one Oprah could get on board with.

henny said...

Yes, I agree with what others have been saying, a celebrity might surely need to reassure their wife that they are alone! And perhaps the cell wasn't working to Austrailia, and I myself can't stand having long chats via cell phone. The reception is never as good as the "real thing". So his story checks out with me as does his need for anger management classes.

Harkonnendog said...

Is anyone not going to see a Russel Crowe movie because he snapped and threw a phone at someone? Aren't we being a little too sensitive?

Anyway, I dug him for playing a psycho cop- Bud- with a terrible temper- I dug him for playing a dude who killed people in the ring- I dug him for playing bad azz mofos generally- why would his tossing a phone at somebody upset me?

He plays bad-boys- snapping shouldn't hurt his career at all. Apologizing for it might.

Ann Althouse said...

Harkennodog: Did anyone express a sensitive attitude? I'm mostly mocking him for his abject apology routine on Letterman. It seems to me that many of the best male actors have rage problems -- I'm sure it's not a coincidence.

nappy40 said...

A lot of these guys do have rage problems, but why? They're rich and they get laid a lot. What's there to be angry about?

Harkonnendog said...

Ann,
I think I misread this: "Crowe obviously knows he's in trouble, and he's trying to salvage his life. So he grovelled like mad on camera for us. It was icky." I didn't think you were sensitive, btw, but that you wrote that in response to some sort of upswell of Crowe-condemnation I've missed.
cheers!

Bruce Hayden said...

I think the rage problem comes from being somewhat above the law. Many of us might have a rage problem, but common sense gets the better of us. I, for one, don't want to spend a night, or even longer (I know one atty. who spent a year in prison and lost his law license for a couple of years for hitting his wife one time - but not hurting her enough to send her to the hospital).

In other words, I will posit that they have no more reason to be angry, just significantly less incentive to keep their anger under control.