Nestor Estrada is an incredibly lucky man.
That probably wasn’t the thought going through his mind back in June, though. Back then, he was probably thinking "Why did Russell Crowe just fling a telephone into my face? And that huge ceramic vase? Why on Earth is he pulling those ridiculous karate moves?"
But now, Nestor Estrada is beginning to understand what a fantastic thing it is to have a movie-star settle out of court.
It’s the timeless old story. Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy
makes movie. Boy flies to New York to promote movie. Boy misses girl.
Boy tries to phone girl. Boy can’t get hotel phone to work. Boy rips
hotel phone from socket, goes downstairs and throws hotel phone into
porter’s face. Boy tries to throw huge vase, but misses. Boy pulls some
karate moves and bows theatrically. Boy gets arrested for assault.
Russell Crowe (DVDs) – a man so good at fighting that it once took Grant
Mitchell to stop him from beating up a businessman in a restaurant –
immediately knew that he did wrong. His voluntary punishment was to
have the piss taken out of him by David Letterman.
During the interview, Crowe admitted "This is possibly the most shameful situation I’ve ever got myself in,
in my life, and I’ve done some pretty dumb things in my life. So to
actually make a new number one is spectacularly stupid you know".
That’s possibly some kind of Russell Crowe code for "Oh no! If I
get a criminal record in America I’ll never be allowed to work here
ever again! I’ll have to go back to Australia and star in Neighbours or
Blue Heelers or Shortland Street… oh no, that one’s from New Zealand
isn’t it? Anyway, I’m in deep shit".
Knowing that’s it’s actually easier to become beatified while still alive than to get
a normal American working visa – even without having smashed a hotel
telephone into a hotel porter’s face – Russell did the only thing he
was able to: settle out of court.
And as Nestor Estrada has found out, nothing tastes sweeter than the
cheque you get after a millionaire apparently assaults you then
realises what he’s done.
Last week, there were reports circulating that Estrada’s lawyers had
Crowe’s assets in a vice. So determined was Russell Crowe to be able to continue to work in America, $11 million was the figure being bandied
about. Few details of the actual deal have been released, but according
to Jossip, the final settlement is likely to be in the low six-figures.
Lawyers are claiming that both parties are satisfied.
However, Crowe’s woes are not completely over just yet. Next month,
he faces a criminal charge of second-degree assault. And that’ll be
less easy to settle. Plus he’s still got to try and get people to watch
Cinderella Man – an uphill task if ever there was one.
[story by Stuart Heritage]