January 21, 2006

Crowe warns snappers

RUSSELL Crowe has warned the paparazzi to stay away from his pregnant wife, Danielle Spencer, saying he will "tar and feather" any photographer who comes too close.

Crowe expressed his concerns about Spencer's safety after paparazzi photographers sprayed Heath Ledger with water on a red carpet in Sydney.

The Oscar-winning actor has revealed that the paparazzi's presence may have influenced the birth of the couple's first baby, Charlie, two years ago.

"Dani was three weeks early last time, she gave birth just a few days after she was chased down the street by four photographers," Crowe said.

"Nobody cares, particularly the photographers, nobody cares to focus on what that is. She was just walking down the street with her girlfriend and they rushed her - four of them all surrounded her.

"So she panicked and slipped and all this sort of stuff. If I'd been there that would have been a really serious situation.

"I tell you right now, they will be tarred and feathered if they hassle my pregnant wife again."

Crowe, who married Spencer in early 2003, said his wife is about to enter her second trimester of pregnancy.

"Now she's at 3 months and she's about to get into the second trimester," he said. "In the second trimester of her last pregnancy she was absolutely glowing and ravenous for life, so we're both looking forward to that.

"The first trimester's a little tougher," he added with a smile.

Crowe said Charlie was excited about having a younger sibling. "He understands that there is a baby . . . he's talking now, he's very much in tune with everything that's going on," Crowe said.

The actor said he was more than happy to do his job on red carpets and be photographed at official events with his wife. But he is becoming increasingly concerned about the intrusion by paparazzi in his everyday life and the lives of other celebrities. "I think it's time for the police to have a chat to these guys," he said.

"Our privacy laws are non-existent. The one sentence that's in [the legislation] is 'what a reasonable society expects'. And a reasonable society could not possibly expect you to doorstop someone seven days a week, 24 hours a day, sit outside their house, follow them wherever they go . . . that's stalking.

"If it was happening to anyone else the police would have powers to do something about it.

"This bullshit excuse [by the paparazzi] that they're just doing their job . . . it gets dangerous, too. It's not just their shenanigans, it's what they show to other people.

"So now there's a psychological thing that goes around that it's OK to do something like that to Heath Ledger or Tom Cruise when they're in public, out there doing their job, and that's completely uncool."

Crowe said his family life in Woolloomooloo (and on his farm in Nana Glen, in northern NSW) has never been happier and that he was simply hoping to protect his wife's wellbeing in the lead-up to the birth of their second child.

Source: The Sun-Herald

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