Prosecutors not filing charges against actor Russell Crowe

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office said Russell Crowe appeared justified in throwing Azealia Banks out of his Beverly Hills hotel room during a party after she reportedly became belligerent.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's office said Russell Crowe appeared justified in throwing Azealia Banks out of his Beverly Hills hotel room during a party after she reportedly became belligerent.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against actor Russell Crowe over a scuffle earlier this year with rapper Azealia Banks.

In a court filing on Tuesday, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said Crowe appeared justified in throwing the singer out of his Beverly Hills hotel room during an Oct 15 party after she reportedly became belligerent.

The 25-year-old rapper had filed a police report against Crowe, claiming he grabbed her by the neck, used a racial slur and spat on her.

But prosecutors said, if anyone was to blame for the incident, it appears to be Banks, who witnesses at the party described as either drunk or on drugs.

"Several attendees describe Banks, not Crowe, as the assaultive party," prosecutors said in a charge evaluation worksheet that explains their decision.

"Witnesses state that prior to being ejected from the hotel room by Crowe, Banks repeatedly used a racial epithet, was verbally aggressive to party attendees and threatened to break a glass to cut the throat of a female guest and/or Crowe," the filing states.

It adds that Banks had admitted to making insulting statements before Crowe, 52, threw her out of his suite.

Prosecutors said it would be inappropriate to file criminal charges against Crowe for spitting on Banks' gloved hand.

"It was incidental to preventing more serious threatened violence," the filing said.

Banks was earlier this year suspended from Twitter after a stream of racist and Islamophobic invective against former One Direction singer Zayn, whom she accused of copying her style.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2016, with the headline 'Prosecutors not filing charges against Crowe'. Print Edition | Subscribe