Azealia Banks starts GoFundMe campaign to fund lawsuit against Russell Crowe for alleged assault
Azealia Banks claims that Russell Crowe spat on her, choked her, and called her the n-word at a party in 2016. However, no one at the party corroborated her story
Back in 2016, Azealia Banks accused Russell Crowe of manhandling her at a party, spitting on her, choking her, and even calling her the N-word. She even filed a battery report with Beverly Hills PD after Russell refused to apologize to her, TMZ reported. However, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office dropped Azealia’s charges due to insufficient evidence.
On Sunday, Azealia unofficially reopened her case again by setting up a GoFundMe campaign to collect funds to file a lawsuit against Russell. In light of the MeToo movement, she believes that "we are currently in a time where the world no longer overlooks the words of a controversial black woman to favor a powerful white man".
On her GoFundMe page, she writes: This isn’t about a big pay day for me. It’s about letting the world know that black women are victims to the same sort of disgusting violence men in Hollywood deal out to women and it’s important to send a message that black women also deserve justice and will get justice in these situations. Russell called me a n****r, choked me, and spat on me... If I were a white singer, he wouldn’t have even thought about laying a finger on me.”
Just like in most cases, there have been two different versions of this story. Azealia claims that she went to a party in Russell’s suite as RZA’s guest and left the suite absolutely humiliated. After she returned home, she took to social media to share her experience of the night. Daily Beast reported that she wrote: “To recap my night, I went to a party at Russell Crowe's suite, at which he called me a n****r, 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.”
TMZ did some digging and, after consulting several witnesses, they found that there was another narrative in the picture, which seemed to favor Russell rather than Azealia. An article by TMZ stated: “According to eyewitness accounts, the trouble started when Azealia laughed out loud at Russell's music selection, and then called him and at least one other guest, "boring white men."
We're told a female guest jumped to Russell's defense and suggested Azealia pipe down. Instead, we're told she made an insane speech/threat to Russell and the woman. ‘You would love it if I broke my glass, stabbed you guys in the throat, and blood would squirt everywhere like some real Tarantino s***.’
Then, for good measure, witnesses say she dropped a few n-bombs... yet Russell remained surprisingly calm. We're told Azealia reached for her glass, cocked it back, and that's when Russell had enough, he grabbed her in a bear hug and carried her out of the suite. He then called hotel security guards who removed Azealia from the grounds. The comedian Jim Jefferies corroborated this story. He even tweeted a link to the TMZ article and wrote, “This is 100 percent the truth. I was there, she was out of control. Russell did absolutely nothing wrong.”
RZA went on TMZ live to comment on what happened that night. Despite the fact that he in fact invited Azealia to the party, he swore that she was “out of control and violent.” He also said that Russell did not choke her or call her a racist slur, but he did admit that Russel spat on her. However, RZA focused more on Azealia’s "loud and obnoxious behavior" and just mentioned that "Russell blocked the attack and expelled her from the suite." He also said, in a rather paternalistic tone, "I have a wife, daughters, sisters and females on my staff so I protect women everyday. I pray none of them ever behave the way I witnessed Azealia Banks behaved that night."
Azealia took to social media yet again to refute RZA’s comments. She wrote: “RZA has clearly been given no legal advice and went straight to TMZ out of his feelings to try and gaslight me.” She continued, “You mean to tell me, that a 300b man needed to use ALL OF THAT FORCE, to remove an ‘erratic’ guest from a party? My uber records/hotel surveillance shows me arriving to the party at 9:45pm, the incident occurred around 2:45am, I were supposedly erratic, how did I possibly end up spending THAT MUCH time at your party?”
While Azealia spoke up in a time before the MeToo movement, it may not be the only reason why her accusations were looked over. In March, Azealia made a comment on race in the industry, pointing out the double standards. She posted, “All Kanye did was say excuse me then take Taylor’s mic (which she handed him) and they damn near cancelled him. Russell choked me, spat on me, called me a ni**er and is still being booked for work. It’s insane that he really got away with that. I’m really not over it.”
Russell is known for having violent outbursts, while Azealia is known for physical confrontations as well as online conflicts with her peers in which she has used homophobic and racist language reported.
What truly happened that night is hard to tell, but one thing is clear, Azealia has been deeply affected by whatever happened that night. In March, she opened up about the effects of the whole controversy on her mental health and career.
“Everyone in the room that night lied on his behalf,” Azealia insisted in March. “People at Lionsgate wouldn’t even speak to me after this happened. They essentially took RZA’s side and I really suffered with the original premiere of love Beats Rhymes and the soundtrack being cancelled because of this. No one has ever apologized to me for any of this. When this happened, NO ONE called to ask if I was okay... These last two years have really been hard for me. I’m getting better now and I hope I get the chance to do another movie and have a real premiere with a red carpet and paparazzi/media such. I was really looking forward to that.”