Russell Crowe has reached out and touched a Manhattan hotel clerk--and this time no flying phones or stitches were involved.
"Russell Crowe and Nestor Estrada announce that they have reached a settlement of Estrada's claims stemming from an incident in June at the Mercer Hotel where Estrada was employed," the actor's publicist, Robin Baum, told E! Online Thursday. "Both sides expressed satisfaction at the resolution."
Neither Baum nor Crowe lawyer Gerald Lefcourt would reveal details of the agreement, and Estrada's attorney, Eric Franz, declined to comment. But we're guessing it was the most expensive phone call that Crowe never made.
Weeks ago, both Lefcourt and Franz denied a report in Britain's Daily Mail claiming Estrada was seeking an $11 million payout. On Thursday, the New York Daily News reported that the actual settlement figure would be in the "low six figures." The newspaper also said that Crowe's attorneys were "close" to working out a deal with New York prosecutors over criminal charges stemming from the incident.
Crowe, 41, was arrested June 6 and booked for felony second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon--in this case, the phone. The charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The felonious telephone tantrum came as Crowe was in the city doing publicity for his boxing flick, Cinderella Man. Around 4 a.m., Crowe tried in vain to place a call to wife Danielle Spencer in Australia. He allegedly took out his frustration on Estrada, who was manning the night desk, hurling the phone at the clerk and "hitting him in the face and causing a laceration and substantial pain," according to the police complaint.
The hotel worker was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for minor cuts to his cheek and released.
Crowe was locked up for a few hours and then forced to do a handcuffed, police-escorted perp walk past photographers and into Manhattan Criminal Court, where he was charged and released.
Prosecutors refused to comment Thursday on any potential plea deal; the next court date is set for Sept. 14.
Estrada never formally filed a lawsuit against the actor, but it was believed that Franz and Lefcourt have been negotiating a deal since the scrape.
For his part, Crowe took to The Late Show with David Letterman two days after the incident to offer a mea culpa.
"I'm extremely sorry for this whole incident and I regret everything that took place," Crowe told Letterman. "The bottom line is I did something pretty stupid...This is possibly the most shameful situation I've ever gotten myself [into] in my life.
"Nestor and his family are under a great deal of pressure. I'd like to apologize directly to them for that," the Oscar winner said. "Hopefully at some stage, I'll be able to apologize directly to Nestor, but at the moment, he's not answering his phone."No word whether Crowe ever got though to Estrada, but do you blame the guy for avoiding telephones these days?