30 AUGUST 2004

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Hollywood hardman Russell Crowe has spoken out over recent rumours that he got into a fight with one of his bodyguards. The hunky actor wrote a letter to an Australian newspaper after it was reported he had attacked his burly minder Mark "Spud" Carroll.

"Spud and I had a push around after work on a Friday night," confirmed the Gladiator star. Russell, who is currently working on the boxing flick The Cinderella Man, was chatting with a female extra when the incident took place.

Apparently Mr Carroll's suggestion that people might get the wrong impression rather upset the actor. "The misunderstanding arose when Spud came over to tell me what he thought other people in the room might have been thinking of my conversation," revealed Russell. "I thought he was accusing me specifically of something and I took offence to it.

"It doesn't surprise me that I'm overly sensitive to gossip and speculation and heartily sick of other people's 'perceptions'. Spud was passing on other people's 'perceptions' and I shot the messenger. Luckily for me, the sequences we were shooting required me to wear heavy post boxing make-up, so you couldn't tell."

All was forgiven the next day when the two "called each other a few ripe names, had a hug and got on with the job". Mr Carroll, who is a former rugby league player, also gave his assurances that there was no harm done. "Believe me, we have done much more damage to each other playing touch-footy," he said.

Russell says his "push-around" with bodyguard Spud was only a misunderstanding. The next day they "called each other a few ripe names, had a hug and got on with the job," he said
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Photo: Alphapress

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