Stephen M. Silverman
November 19, 2002 01:55 PM

Just days after a reported slugfest in a London restaurant with a fellow New Zealander, Russell Crowe has announced he is heading back to his Coffs Harbour farm in Australia to be with his father and girlfriend, singer Danielle Spencer, the “Gladiator” Oscar winner announced on his band’s Web site.

“Though I love all aspects of my work, and it has certainly benefited my family in myriad ways, the success of the last three or four years has also brought with it an undeniably massive level of stress, not only to me but to my immediate and extended family and to my friends and friendships,” the actor said.

Crowe’s group, 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, also has canceled a U.S. tour to allow band members and crew to spend “the Australian summer with their family and loved ones,” according to the statement, which is signed, “Love, Russell.”

Speaking of love, Crowe, 38, who has recently been linked to Nicole Kidman, among others, states, “Let me clarify something else. I am in love with Danielle Spencer but I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with her … Dani has been very patient with all of the speculations of the past year or so, which I thank her for … feel a great need to wake up with her as many days of my life as I can.”

Spencer, who performed in Sydney on Monday night, told reporters on Tuesday, “Yes, of course I still love him. I will be spending time with him over summer.” (Because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to what they are here.)

Crowe also said his father would be treated for carpal tunnel syndrome in December and that he wanted to be at his side.

No mention is made in the statement of last week’s incident in London, during which Crowe faced off with New Zealand businessman Eric Watson at a Japanese Restaurant.

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