russellIn an effort to close stage one of his new criminal life, Russell Crowe has settled with Nestor Estrada, the victim of his vicious, telephone-aided assault. Though the amount of the settlement hasn't been released, it's thought to be "in the low six figures," far short of the rumored $5 million. This is sort of like that scene in Defending Your Life, when Albert Brooks is so excited to see his new car on the dealership lot. When it turns out that he's looking at the wrong car - his is a smaller, equally expensive and posh model that anyone would love to have - he says "Gee, try not to show the 750 first, now my car looks like a turd." I'm sure that a couple of months ago, $300,000 or so sounded pretty great to Mr. Estrada. But now? Well, it sort of looks like a turd.

Sadly for our Russell, however, splashing the cash on his victim is not going to make the great state of New York back off. Starting next month, he'll face trial on a pair of charges:  second degree assault, and fourth degree criminal possession of a phone weapon. (I guess there's no specific statute for phones.) If he's convicted, the Aussie brute could spend up to seven years in prison. Hee. Sorry. Poor Russell - imagine the pain he must be in. I  mean, jail time could really screw up his Oscar hopes.