After filing a police report claiming Russell Crowe assaulted her and kicked her out of his hotel room during an intimate dinner party on Saturday night, the 25-year-old rapper’s story is coming under fire as a source close to the situation maintains Banks threatened Crowe and had to be escorted out.
According to accounts, Banks was among 10 guests joining Crowe, 52, for a laid-back evening of dinner and music at a private gathering in the Beverly Hills Hotel Saturday evening. She was brought to the party as rapper and director RZA’s plus-one — where she claims she was “spat on, choked, thrown out of a room, and called a ‘n—–.’ ”
But a source close to the situation told PEOPLE Crowe never called the “212” rapper the N-word. The insider claims that word came from Banks’ mouth during an argument over music Crowe was playing — and that all 10 witnesses present there at that time of the incident, including RZA, have provided statements to authorities collaborating that claim.
“Per all of the witnesses, her erratic behavior and abusive language scared everyone there,” the source said. “No one called her the N-word. She was yelling the N-word at everyone else.”
“Russell behaved like a hero,” the source continued. “He acted in defense of his guests and removed her from his suite by putting her in a bear hug and picking her up.”
Banks said she would have not filed a police report against Crowe had he simply apologized for the alleged Sunday morning assault. But a source close to the situation said the Nice Guys actor “has absolutely nothing to apologize for.”
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Banks said she is prepared to forgive Crowe “in order to heal,” but chose to filed a police report about the incident at roughly 3 p.m. on Sunday with the Beverly Hills police department “due to Russell’s lack of remorse and compassion.”
“I want him to take accountability for his actions,” Banks revealed. “I believe that Russell is a damaged man and I hope the prospect of legal action will force him seek help in overcoming his personal demons.”
A rep for Crowe has not commented. Reported witnesses to the altercation have not returned requests for comment.
On Tuesday, Sergeant Demarois of the Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that a report had been filed involving Banks and Crowe. “We can’t confirm what kind of report, and the investigation is being handled by our detective bureau,” he said.
Banks said she felt “scared and humiliated” after the altercation. She tells PEOPLE she spoke to an individual affiliated with the 52-year-old actor hours after the attack — telling the insider that she would not speak out about what occurred “if Russell was genuinely sorry and if Russell would call to apologize.”
Instead, Banks claims Crowe’s acquaintance “trivialized what had happened and said everyone at the party had already forgotten about it and I should too.”
The source close to the situation also refutes that statement. “No one trivialized what happened,” the source explained. “As a matter of fact, everyone there was traumatized by her conduct.”
“Banks’ story has changed dramatically since Sunday,” the insider continued. “On Sunday, her only contention was that Russell called her the N-word. He did not call her that. She demanded an apology and threatened to go to the police until she got one. She didn’t get an apology because she wasn’t deserving of one. Her story has grown and become more involved with each passing day.”
Both Banks and Crowe have had their fair share of controversies — Banks’ unfiltered, offensive words often fueling feuds with celebrities. Crowe, meanwhile, was arrested in 2005 after striking a desk clerk with a phone.
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And though the source noted Banks put Crowe in “a terrible and unfair position,” for Banks, the incident is now bigger than just her.
“We live in a country of white privilege and Hollywood is a place where many individuals and organizations believe they have a license to do as they please, regardless of social and moral expectations,” Banks tells PEOPLE. “Not filing a police report would have been a tremendous injustice to my race, my gender and other victims of assault. I hope all those who dream of one day being part of the entertainment industry will take this as a cautionary tale.”
Moving forward, Banks said she intends to focus solely on her music. “I am focused on becoming a stronger woman and a better human being,” she continued. “I want to be known solely for my talent and the struggles I have overcome.”
As for her haters? “My fans and my loved ones understand me, they praise me when I am right and chastise me when I am wrong,” Banks added. “Their opinions are the ones that matter.”
- With reporting by JULIE JORDAN, SARAH MICHAUD and NICOLE SANDS