Russell Crowe Calls Phone-Toss Overplayed

In Australia, he says, the situation would have been settled with a handshake

Russell Crowe is suggesting that Americans overreacted to his phone-tossing incident in a New York hotel last year.

The Australian actor, 42, tells 60 Minutes in an interview set to air Sunday, “Where I come from, a confrontation like that, as basic and simple as that, would have been satisfied with a handshake and an apology.”

Instead, Crowe was arrested and later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was sentenced to a conditional discharge, provided he stay out of trouble in the next year.

“Your legal system is very open to be misused,” he tells correspondent Steve Kroft, according to the Associated Press.

Still, in the days after his June 2005 arrest, Crowe admitted on The Late Show with David Letterman that he had an anger-management problem, and said, “I am extremely sorry for this whole incident and I regret everything that took place.”

And he still contends that he “absolutely” regrets the incident, which he blames on his bad temper – a trait he considers a necessary evil.

“You know what happens when you don’t have one?” Crowe tells 60 Minutes. “One day you’re walking down the street and you just pop.”

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