Azealia Banks accuses Russell Crowe of assault, racial slur; witnesses reportedly disagree
Azealia Banks has kicked off her new working relationship with Wu-Tang Clan rapper/producer and film director RZA with a bang: She’s accusing Russell Crowe of attacking her and dropping the N-bomb while hauling her out of a Saturday night gathering at his Beverly Hills Hotel suite, where she was invited as a guest of RZA. (Real name Robert Diggs.)
Meanwhile, others at the dinner party are saying — in an account retweeted by the Oscar-winning actor — that an “erratic” Banks insulted Crowe and threatened him and another guest with violence before the actor calmly took her out of the suite in a “bear hug” and called Beverly Hills Hotel security to usher her off the property.
Banks filed an incident report Sunday with the Beverly Hills Police Department, and detectives were investigating, Sgt. David Tomlin confirmed.
“She wants to go back to New York,” her manager told Us Weekly. “She’s very distraught. She’s not comfortable being in L.A. after what happened.”
Crowe, 52, had invited about 10 people over to have dinner and listen to music at his hotel room, TMZ reported Sunday.
RZA brought 25-year-old Banks as his plus-one; earlier this month, he signed her to a record deal, and she appears in his yet-to-be-released movie “Coco.” RZA has worked with Crowe on such films as “The Next Three Days” and “The Man With the Iron Fists.”
What happened next is a classic they said/she said.
Citing eyewitnesses, TMZ reports that Banks laughed at Crowe’s tunes, calling him and at least one other guest “boring white men.”
After a female guest spoke up and defended Crowe, Banks allegedly said, “You would love it if I broke my glass, stabbed you guys in the throat, and blood would squirt everywhere,” then reached for her glass and cocked it back, a source told TMZ.
At that point, witnesses told the outlet, Crowe got the rapper in what was described as a “bear hug,” walked her out of his suite and called hotel security. Banks allegedly dropped N-bombs along the way, according to TMZ.
Now, here’s Banks’ account of what happened, which she posted to Facebook and then deleted (via the Jasmine Brand):
“To recap my night, I went to a party at Russell crowe’s suite, at which he called me a [racial slur], choked me, threw me out and spat at me. Last night was one of the hardest nights of sleep I’ve had in a long time. The men in the room allowed it to happen. I feel terrible today,” she wrote in one post, then continued in another. “Just feel so low and mishandled and alone and … depressed right now. I wish I had someone to beat him up for me.”
Banks is “disgusted” by what’s been reported about the incident and is uncomfortable in Los Angeles, her manager told Us Weekly. “She was attacked,” he said. “What has been reported as to what had led up to the attack is all fictitious.” He did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Times.
A rep for Crowe didn’t respond to requests for comment. According to TMZ, at least four guests at the gathering gave statements on an unspecified investigation, with RZA reportedly saying in his statement that it was Banks who was hurling racial slurs, not Crowe.
“Azealia is tremendously distraught and disheartened,” the rapper’s manager said Monday in a statement. “She is shell shocked and will speak out on the incident once she has had time to process the brutality and abuse she was unjustly subjected to.”
A bit later, Banks said on Facebook that she was “taking the day off” from selling things online because she was “really not doing well right now.” She said she’d be back Tuesday.
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.
8:05 p.m.: This article was updated with police confirmation that Banks had filed an incident report.
This article was originally published at 5:10 p.m.
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.