Why did Russell Crowe auction off his stuff?

I’m perplexed. Do movie stars not make as much money as they used to?

I thought a Hollywood actor of Russell Crowe’s calibre would be super loaded.

Like, eating off $18,000 Hermes dinner plates and sailing around Richard Branson’s private island during his vacation, loaded.


He’s won an Oscar and has been an A-list movie star – surely he’s financially set for life?

So why then did Russell Crowe auction off a bunch of movie memorabilia over the weekend?

He made a small fortune – $3.7m and change – flogging the former movie props, which included bits and pieces from all of his most successful films like Gladiator and Romper Stomper.

The auction was uniquely titled ‘The Art of Divorce’, and at first I thought it meant he was using the proceeds of his auction to bankroll his split from Danielle Spencer. Poor Russ, I thought, he must be falling on hard times.

However apparently, it’s only titled as such because it marks the fact Crowe is about to finalise his divorce, which has been five years in the making.

Ahead of the auction, Crowe explained why he decided to sell the items as being something of a rich person’s spring clean:

“As I have gotten older I have started to feel like it is not so much the touchstones of the past, but the clear road ahead that is really important,” Crowe said.

“As all collectors might do at some time, I have occasionally laughed at myself and wondered if my collecting passion has slipped into hoarding.”

Still: isn’t an auction of celebrity minutiae something that is usually reserved for charity events, rather than lining the celebrity’s own pocket?

I discussed this with a friend, and he pointed out, “If Russell was selling an investment property or a collection of art for $3.7, you wouldn’t expect him to donate the proceeds to charity. So why should we expect him to give his auction profits away?”

Fair point, I suppose.

Plus, when your trinkets and knickknacks can fetch you several million dollars (at the end of the auction his total haul was $3,719,963), I think you can officially lay claim to hoarder status!