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Drudge has the official explanation of how a telephone wielded by actor/overzealous telecommunications enthusiast Russell Crowe came to (allegedly) strike a hotel employee in the face:

"Frustrated by a clerk's unwillingness to help him put through a phone call to his family in Australia, Russell Crowe was involved in a minor altercation at the Mercer Hotel earlier this morning. After asking the front desk several times to replace a faulty phone in his room - and getting only attitude from the clerk on duty - Crowe brought the phone down to the front desk in an effort to address the situation in person. Words were exchanged and Crowe wound up throwing the phone against the wall. He regrets that he lost his temper, but at no time did he assault anyone or touch any hotel employee.

Robin Baum

See what adequate PR representation can do for a person? An incident that could reflect badly on a client has been momentarily deflected, as this carefully-worded press release has strategically recast the (alleged) victim as a bad guy with poor customer service skills. It's a good thing Crowe isn't repped by, say, his sister, otherwise this statement might have been somewhat less skillful: "You're damn right Russell hit that guy! He's lucky that Russell didn't stick the receiver up his glorified-bellhop ass and tell him to call his Maker and ask if He has any availability."