The New York Daily News









Russell Crowe's accuser yesterday gave the first glimpse of the gash allegedly caused by the hothead's telephone hurling - while the apologetic star blamed his rage on everything from jet lag to loneliness.

Nestor (Josh) Estrada, accompanied by fiancée Roxane Kramer (above), broke from talks with his lawyer to show the Daily News the cut that curled down the 28-year-old Brooklyn man's right cheekbone.

But the concierge at SoHo's swanky Mercer Hotel refused to talk about Monday's early-morning confrontation with the telephone-brandishing actor. His attorney Matthew Blit, of the Midtown law firm Levine and Blit, declined comment.

Meanwhile, Crowe, 41, spent the day apologizing for the incident, which got him arrested and spurred headlines around the world.
"Hopefully, at some stage, I'll be able to apologize directly to [Estrada] but, at the moment, he's not answering his phone," he said on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman."

"I'm extremely sorry for this whole incident and I regret everything that took place."

The band jokingly played "Mr. Telephone Man" as the "Gladiator" star entered the studio. Letterman removed his phone from the desk.

But the laughs subsided as Crowe, in New York to promote "Cinderella Man," was asked if he had an anger problem.
"Yeah, I do," he answered.

And he revealed he fears Monday's incident may land him behind bars for seven years - far beyond the eight hours he spent Monday in the custody of New York's Finest.

"This is possibly the most shameful situation I've ever gotten myself in in my life, and I've done some pretty dumb things in my life," said Crowe, who has a reputation as a brawler.

Crowe said he lost his temper shortly before 4:30 a.m. Monday after phone problems stopped him from calling his wife, actress Danielle Spencer, at home in Australia.

The Academy Award-winning star ripped the phone from his room, and went to the front desk. He threw the phone, which hit Estrada in the face.

His representative has said the actor saw red after the concierge gave him "attitude."

Crowe said he didn't mean to hurt Estrada. But he said he was jet-lagged after flying from New York to England and back in less than a day to catch a prizefight.

He said he wanted to phone his wife to let her know he had arrived back in New York safely. "I'm trying to fill my basic obligations to my wife, who needs to know that I'm at home, I'm in bed, I haven't had too much to drink and that, primely important, I'm alone," Crowe told Letterman. "These are questions that every wife has the right to have answered every night, and that's my duty. I'm just getting used to being a husband and a father away from home, and that's a level of abject loneliness I'm not used to at all. I don't want to be away from my family like this."

The actor told Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper he fears a conviction could ruin his career, stripping him of his U.S. work visa.
"I'm at the bottom of a well. I can't communicate how dark my life is right now," he said. "I'm in a lot of trouble. I'll do my best to solve the situation in an honorable way. I'm very sorry for my actions.

"One thing that I don't want to do is imply that I'm trying to make out it's somebody else's fault," Crowe told the paper. "It's not. I know it's my fault. I've got to face up to it and deal with it. I'll cop whatever I cop."

With Elva Ramirez, Richard Schapiro and Jimmy Vielkind