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Crowe pleads guilty in assault

November 19, 2005|From Associated Press

Russell Crowe pleaded guilty in New York Friday to third-degree assault, admitting to a judge that he threw a phone that hit a Manhattan hotel concierge in June.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Kathryn Freed sentenced the actor to a conditional discharge, which means he must not be arrested for one year. The judge also instructed Crowe to pay a $160 court surcharge, which defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt said would be paid immediately.

If he had been convicted of more serious charges initially filed against him -- assault and criminal possession of a weapon -- the New Zealand-born Crowe could have lost his right to work in the United States and might have faced seven years of prison.

Crowe, 41, who won the Academy Award for best actor in 2001 for "Gladiator," was arrested after flying into a rage in June when he had trouble calling his wife in Australia from his room at the Mercer Hotel in Manhattan's SoHo district.

Crowe, who stood still and erect, told the judge Friday that he did throw the phone, striking the concierge.

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