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Russell Crowe Due In Court

Russell Crowe was scheduled to appear in Manhattan criminal court Friday, accused of throwing a phone at a hotel concierge in June.

He is accused of flying into a rage when he had trouble calling his wife Danielle Spencer in Australia from his room at the Mercer Hotel in New York. He threw the phone, striking concierge Nestor Estrada, authorities said.

Crowe's publicist, Robin Baum, told syndicated TV show "Extra" in June that "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."

If convicted of assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the Oscar winner could lose his right to work in the United States and face seven years in prison. Crowe, 41, was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia.

In a recent interview for The Bulletin magazine, Crowe had said his lawyers are working to have the felony charge reduced to a less serious misdemeanor. But even that could lead to immigration hassles, Crowe said.

"Every time I apply for a visa, it's like you need a suitcase into the embassy," he said, referring to the amount of paperwork required. "So to add this charge, even as a misdemeanor level ... basically stops me getting certain types of visa."

However, Crowe — who has a history of explosive outbursts — said he is prepared to accept his fate.

"If I'm an international menace like the (prosecuting) attorney is suggesting, then fine," Crowe said from his home in Sydney. "I'll just stay here."

Last month, he reached an undisclosed settlement with Estrada.

Prosecutors also charged Crowe with second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon — the telephone.

Crow won an Oscar for his role in the 2000 film "Gladiator." He plays a boxer in his latest movie, "Cinderella Man."

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