After months of rumours about the state of his marriage, Russell Crowe has finally broken his silence. The New Zealand-born actor has said his priority is bringing his family back together, and dubbed the most recent stories about his personal life "false and cruel".
After tweeting about his day shooting A Winter's Tale on horseback with Colin Farrell, he wrote: "As soon as I finish this job & can get home, my priority is to try to bring my family back together. These latest reports are false & cruel."
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Reports surfaced in the Australian media in October that the star's nine-year marriage to wife Danielle Spencer was over. She is based in Sydney their two young sons, Charles, eight, and Tennyson, who is six. The "latest reports" which Russell refers to in his tweet claim he has been romantically involved with TV food critic Katie Lee - ex-wife of Billy Joel.
The actor has previously said that his busy schedule has kept him away from his family for months on end. He has gone straight to film in his new project in New York after wrapping up filming biblical epic Noah, which was preceded by Les Miserables and iron Fist.
He tweeted two weeks ago: "Starting on another film set tomorrow. I need to go home & be with my children. Cannot believe how… my schedule has become this year."
When a Twitter follower told him he shared the same problem, Russell added: "I sympathise. I haven't seen mine since late September. Maybe 40 days with them for the year. Won't happen again. All the best."
Meanwhile, Russell's Britain-born wife Danielle made a return to Twitter, thanking fans for their support. "Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I haven't visited here for a while, things have been keeping me somewhat busy of late. I just wanted to thank you all for bearing with me and also for your messages of support, it means a lot to me."
The actor tied the knot with actress and singer Danielle in an ultra-private ceremony at a chapel on his 560-acre Australian ranch back in 2003. They had enjoyed an on-off relationship since meeting on a film set 13 years earlier. And although they split up in 1995 following Russell's move to Hollywood, unassuming Danielle was always going to be the woman who tamed Gladiator's Maximus.
On December 21, 2003, the pair welcomed their first son, little Charles Spencer Crowe. His brother, Tennyson, followed on July 7, 2006.
Part of the couple's appeal was always their reluctance to play the Hollywood game. Whenever Russell wasn't working, they enjoyed a low-key life at their sprawling $10m Rose Bay residence in the picturesque harbor side suburbs of Sydney.