It's rerun season for Russell Crowe.
The Gladiator star unleashed hell yet again, this time getting into a free-for-all with a New Zealand tycoon early Wednesday morning at a trendy London eatery.
According to reports in London's Sun and Daily Mirror tabloids, complete with photos of a scuffed-up Crowe illustrating their stories, the pony-tailed actor had been knocking down a few pints in a West End pub before heading over to Zuma--an It hangout frequented by movie stars, rockers, heads of state and even royalty--for a Japanese repast.
Crowe, in town to attend the funeral of friend and Gladiator costar Richard Harris, ran into another New Zealander at the restaurant, a wealthy businessman named Eric Watson. Crowe and Watson reportedly have a strained relationship, apparently dating back to a fight over a woman two years ago.
But, onlookers said, the two men initially seemed to be engaged in a calm conversation. The tête-à-tête became more unruly as the evening progressed, however, until the two eventually came to blows in the little boy's room. A member of Crowe's entourage heard the row and rushed in to find Watson on top of the Oscar winner who was on the floor, apparently giving Mr. Beautiful Mind a good pounding.
It was at that point restaurant staff called the police.
"All hell broke loose for a few moments and Crowe completely lost it," one eyewitness expounded in the Sun.
A man dining at another table managed to pull the two apart. He sent the enraged Crowe to his corner (that is, the restaurant's bar), where he reportedly began yelling at a woman who was apparently Watson's dinner date.
The 38-year-old actor sustained a scratch near his eye and bruises on his mug. Watson's face also endured some swelling.
By the time the police arrived at Zuma at 12:45 a.m., Crowe laughed off the incident. Neither man filed any complaint.
"Officers were called...to the Zuma restaurant to reports of an altercation involving two men believed to be in their thirties," a Scotland Yard spokesman said, refusing to identify the parties. Satisfied that the situation was under control and no serious injuries were reported, police declined to haul anybody in.
Crowe's two-fisted extracurricular activity has been well documented.
Twice over the summer he was reportedly involved in bar brawls in Rosarito, Mexico, where he was filming The Far Side of the World. In August, Crowe got into a shoving match with a fellow actor, only to have his foe's girlfriend put Crowe in a headlock. Two weeks later, Crowe reportedly got into it with a group of drinkers who taunted the burly star. Crowe was spared an ass-kicking when his female personal trainer stepped in, knocking down three of his assailants and then dragging Crowe to safety.
Back in February, Crowe roughed up television director Malcolm Gerrie after he cut short Crowe's Best Actor acceptance speech at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards. (Crowe later apologized to Gerrie, but many saw the altercation as the reason Crowe didn't win his second Oscar for A Beautiful Mind.)
A 1999 bar scuffle starring Crowe wound up being played out in an Australian court when two men who obtained security-cam footage of the fight were accused of trying to blackmail Crowe. They were later acquitted of the charges.
Of course, all this might just be Crowe's version of Method acting. After all, one of the next projects on his plate is playing brawling boxer Jim Braddock in Universal's in-development Cinderella Man.