Firebrand actor Russell Crowe has appeared in a New York criminal court
on assault charges overnight, accused of throwing a faulty phone at the
night porter of the Mercer Hotel. The phone allegedly hit him in the
face causing a cut that needed stitches.

Crowe was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree –
punishable by up to seven years in jail – and criminal possession of a
weapon (the telephone) in the fourth degree – as you can see from the
court document (from The Smoking Gun) below. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on 14 September.

admits he threw the phone at a wall in a fit of anger, but denies it
hit anybody. “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,” publicist Robin Baum said in a
statement. “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.”

The UK Sun has given the yarn the full tabloid treatment, complete with hilarious graphic recreations you can see here.
It reports that Crowe finally managed to call wife Danielle Spencer
while she was dining with a friend in a Sydney restaurant and she was
overheard saying: “No, not again. I told you I should have stayed. I
want you to fly back today.”

The London tabloid also quotes a
worker at the hotel: “Russell totally lost it — swearing and going mad.
I don’t know if he was drunk, but he didn’t even apologise to the guy
who was covered in blood.”