Crowe Talks Ryan, Bad Boy Image

ByABC News
February 18, 2001, 8:06 PM

February 18 -- Gladiator star Russell Crowe has stoically chosen not to talk to the press about his now-ended relationship with Proof of Life co-star Meg Ryan until now, apparently

In an interview published Saturday in Melbourne's Herald Sun, the 36-year-old Crowe is quoted as saying that he broke things off with Ryan to spend more time on his ranch outside Sydney.

"The bottom line is, I have a big life here [in Australia]," says the two-time Oscar nominee, "When I'm off the hook with the schedules, I have to come home. I can't sustain myself through the course of the year without filling up on home."

What did he miss most back home? His dog apparently. "It's rough being away from your dog for six months. That's rough stuff, man," Crowe is quoted as saying.

Bad news for his ex-flame Meg. But Crowe has kind words for his ex-squeeze. "Meg is a beautiful and courageous woman," he said, adding, "I grieve the loss of her companionship, but I haven't lost her friendship."

Crowe also took the opportunity to deny that a much-scrutinized song on his band's new album called "Wendy" is about Ryan, and to laugh at his bad boy image in the press.

"I have a lot of routines about this shit, man. I got married three times this year, I had half a dozen babies, every woman I talked to I impregnated, so I've got the most fertile breath on Earth," he jokes."I don't care what the misconceptions are. I'm a bad boy. I'm a Lothario. Whatever, mate. At the same time all that stuff was being written, I was ear-tagging calves."

Crowe also denied tabloid stories that had him and Meg ending things with an argument in a Beverly Hills hotel "All these things that you read about us, the arguments here and there, and slamming this and that that's just all absolute rubbish. It's complete garbage."