Crowe defends tirade at TV chief

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe today defended his verbal attack on a television executive after his acceptance speech was cut from a broadcast of the Bafta awards.

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe today defended his verbal attack on a television executive after his acceptance speech was cut from a broadcast of the Bafta awards.

The fiery star of A Beautiful Mind said he had nothing to apologise for but admitted he may have been more ‘‘passionate’’ than necessary.

Crowe told US showbiz programme Entertainment Tonight: ‘‘This was just me standing up for myself.

‘‘If you know anything about me you know I am going to stand up for myself if I believe I’ve been wronged.’’

Crowe caused a storm after it emerged he took Malcolm Gerrie, whose company, Initial Productions, made the programme for the BBC, aside after the show and gave him a verbal dressing down.

The actor was upset by the axing of a poem he read out at Sunday night’s glitzy ceremony as he picked up his best actor prize.

Speaking on Entertainment Tonight, Crowe pointed out that his whole acceptance speech was only a minute and 50 seconds long.

And he said of Gerrie: ‘‘He’s not battered, he’s not bruised and he’s not bloodied. His ears will be ringing though.’’

‘‘I have no regrets about what I said to him.’’

But Crowe conceded: ‘‘What I said to him may have been a little bit more passionate than now, in the cold light of day, I would have liked it to have been.’’

Crowe won the best actor Bafta award for playing troubled maths genius John Nash in A Beautiful Mind.

Last year he won a best actor Oscar for Gladiator and this year he is nominated for an Oscar for his performance in A Beautiful Mind.

In a statement after Sunday’s awards a spokesman for Initial said: ‘‘All we’re saying is that Russell Crowe was abusive and behaved very unreasonably.

‘‘We told people accepting that they must keep their speeches to a minimum because we were conscious of the time constraints.

‘‘They were told this three times. As with many other winners his speech over-ran and he was not the only one who was edited.’’

The decision was made in collaboration with the BBC, the spokesman said.

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