Russell Crowe Mocks Phone-Throwing Incident

Russell Crowe Mocks Phone-Throwing Incident
Kevin Winter/Getty

11/28/2005 AT 08:00 AM EST

Russell Crowe called his recent phone-throwing incident one of the most "shameful" moments of his life, but that didn't stop the Oscar winner from joking about it at an awards show.

While hosting the Australian Film Industry Awards in Melbourne on Saturday, Crowe stepped out on stage carrying an old-fashioned phone, according to wire reports.

"If there are any problems and you do get up here and go on too long, then 'hello' to my little friend," Crowe, 41, jokingly warned the audience.

The Cinderella Man star pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor assault after throwing a phone at a New York hotel concierge last June. In a deal with prosecutors, the actor escaped jail time by pleading guilty to the lesser charge and admitting that he threw the phone. Crowe was sentenced to a conditional discharge, requiring him to not get arrested for one year. He also paid $160 in court fees.

After the incident, in which Crowe was frustrated at not being able to call his wife in Australia through the hotel's telephone system, the actor publicly apologized on the Late Show with David Letterman to hotel clerk Nestor (Josh) Estrada, 28, and reportedly paid him a settlement in the low six figures.

Before the show on Saturday, Crowe told reporters that the incident was blown out of proportion by the press. "Traveling businessmen get touchy or testy with hotel staff in every major city all around the world," he said, according to the BBC.

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