'Insider' Star Blackmailed
Australian actor Russell Crowe -- a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination for his role in "The Insider" -- was the target of a blackmail scheme in his homeland, a legal proceeding revealed yesterday. Brian James Mercer and Phillip Anthony Cooper, who allegedly had a videotape of Crowe enmeshed in a nightclub brawl (the actor allegedly bit a man's face, punched a woman and ripped off another's top) appeared in a Sydney courtroom on Wednesday, charged with conspiring to extort more than $125,000 from the actor in exchange for the video. The blackmail plot stemmed from a Nov. 18 incident, according to court evidence. Crowe refused to ante up in the scheme, so the pair reportedly sold the video to a Sydney TV station. The case will be tried on Feb. 14.
On Newsstands Now
- Amy Robach: 'I'm Lucky to Be Alive'
- Paul Walker: Inside His Tragic Death
- Julia Roberts: Choosing Family Over Hollywood
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine