19/11/2005-CROWE ESCAPES JAIL AT ASSAULT HEARING



LATEST: RUSSELL CROWE escaped jail at a court hearing in New York yesterday (18NOV05), after paying a $160 (GBP90) fine and a six-figure sum to the hotel worker he threw a telephone at.

Crowe, who attended the 20 minute hearing, received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to third-degree assault. The 41-year-old reportedly paid $100,000 (GBP56,000) to NESTOR ESTRADA so he would not give evidence or launch a civil action.

Crowe was charged with second degree assault in June (06) after throwing a telephone at Estrada, an employee at Manhattan's Mercer Hotel, when he failed to get a phone connection to wife DANIELLE in Australia.

Yesterday, Judge KATHRYN FREED warned the GLADIATOR star his discharge is on the condition he is not rearrested in the next year.

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