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Russell Crowe threatened to kill producer

entertainment Updated: Apr 28, 2010 19:01 IST

According to a new book, Hollywood A-lister Russell Crowe threatened to kill a producer with his bare hands, over payment of his assistants, during filming of Gladiator.

Journalist Nicole LaPorte recounts the incident in her new book The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company called DreamWorks.

Back in 2000, Crowe allegedly rang Branko Lustig, 77, and swore at him, saying: "I will kill you with my bare hands."

Lustig, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, reported the matter to Steven Spielberg, whose DreamWorks studio was backing the film. He was later asked to leave the production.

However, the actor's spokesman in Australia dismissed the allegations.

"I've been told that Amazon already has the book discounted. Go figure out," the Telegraph quoted the rep as telling the Sydney Morning Herald.