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Russell Crowe's Lawyers Seeking Reduced Charge

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Sep 15, 2005 | 9:44am EDT

Hollywood hardman Russell Crowe has instructed his lawyers to seek a reduction of the assault charge he faces for allegedly throwing a phone at a New York City hotel employee.

The Oscar-winning actor was arrested and charged with felony assault when Nestor Estrada accused Crowe of assaulting him with the faulty handset during a heated argument in June.

If convicted, the 41-year-old could face up to seven years in prison and lose his right to work in the U.S., so he desperately hopes the charge will be reduced to a less serious misdemeanor offense.

Any conviction would cause Crowe immigration problems, but he is looking to soften the impact as much as possible.

He says, "Every time I apply for a visa, it's like you need to bring a suitcase [containing the necessary documents] into the embassy. So to add this charge, even as a misdemeanor level...basically stops me getting certain types of visa."

If he is convicted on all charges, Crowe intends to remain in his native Australia where he lives with his wife Danielle and baby son Charlie.

He says, "If I'm an international menace like the [prosecuting] attorney is suggesting, then fine. I'll just stay here."

Crowe will appear in court in November.

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Meanwhile, Crowe has reportedly warned he will turn his back on the U.S. for good if he is found guilty of assault.

Crowe admits he would be glad to see the back of Hollywood after the way he has been treated regarding the alleged incident.

He tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror, "Maybe it's better I don't travel to America. Maybe it's better I don't work in the area of the business that attracts so many flies.

"You tell me to p**s off too many times and I probably will."

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