2006_11_russellcrowe.jpgBrother. Russell Crowe complains about the fallout from his June 2005 phone throwing incident at the Mercer Hotel. Crowe pleaded guilty to third degree assault, paid a $160 fine, and had to settle with the hotel employee, Nestor Estrada. (And it wasn't just a phone handset or cordless phone thrown at Estrada - apparently Crowe had taken the whole phone out of the wall and thrown it at him, causing minor injuries to Estrada's face.) Crowe tells 60 Minutes that the U.S. legal system "is very open to being abused" and further:

"Where I come from, a confrontation like that, as basic and simple as that, would have been satisfied with a handshake and an apology."

We'll keep that in mind when we go to Australia and have a crazy temper tantrum! Do Sydney hotel employees train with rugby teams? Then again, how about not resorting to physical assault? Sure, accounts say Estrada was dismissive of Crowe's problems using the phone (which is not good when you work in the hotel business), but if your plumber tells you he can't help you fix your toilet situation, do you tear it out of the wall and throw it at him? We hope Steve Kroft interviews Naomi Campbell next for her thoughts on throwing objects at employees.

As for the U.S. legal system being abused, welcome to America. Given that Crowe's settlement with Estrade is in the low six-figures, far from the $11 million figure bandied about last year, we think he got off easy.