24YO Russell Crowe met 19YO Danielle Spencer when they worked on the same film in Australia, and since then, they have been bonded together.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 16, 2020. It has since been updated.
When you have loved someone for many years, it may be hard to let go. You spend years building a life together but if one day it stops working for one of the partners, it can be a hard reality to come to terms with. The loss of a marriage is also a tragedy that people need to grieve.
Russell Crowe, known as a macho guy and with a short fuse, was said to have been "tamed" by his ex-wife Danielle Spencer. The Australian singer-songwriter didn't take any credit for it and instead said in 2010 that he was in a calmer place.
"He’s a sensitive soul, very romantic. He’s a soulful, loyal person who has deeply entrenched family values. And I know he’s someone I can count on. I don’t think I’ve tamed him, I just think there’s a natural progression when you become a parent and are relaxed and happier. Perhaps, before that, he was going through quite a ride in terms of his celebrity, which can be confronting. So I think you possibly get defensive. He’s moved into a calmer environment that works better for him, but he’s just as passionate about his work – and just as complicated an individual," she told The Daily Mail.
They met in 1989 when she was 19 and he 24 while working on a film together called The Crossing, which released in 1990. One year after the movie wrapped up, they got together, said Danielle, who played Crowe’s girlfriend.
"We came out of that relationship after a few years with no animosity – it was just circumstance. Russell was very ambitious and very set on moving to Hollywood, but I was younger and working on music as well as acting in Sydney, so I wasn’t ready to take the plunge. We were both too young to settle but we always stayed in touch – and a strong friendship is a great basis for a relationship," she said.
Eventually, the couple married in 2003 on the Gladiator actor's birthday. They have two sons together, Tennyson, 13, and Charles, 16. They were happy for almost a decade but in 2012 they went separate ways.
"I've loved Danielle Spencer since 1989—that's never going to change—and that's one of those things where I stare at her and go, ‘How did it fail?' I still can't work it out, because my feelings for her have never changed," the 50-year-old actor said, as per EOnline. When he was asked if they would rekindle their relationship, he said, "Once I commit to something, I stick with it, so you never know."
They may have separated but their relationship remains amicable and their focus is their kids. "For me, the most important thing is for my kids to see that their parents are still a parental unit and that we're still friends and there's a lot of affection there, so it's the way to go," Crowe said after their separation. "Obviously it's very challenging for her to deal with and very challenging for me to deal with, but I guess in some ways keeping under the radar is good for my kids."
Crowe continued to compliment her for being a "humble" person, who wouldn't even wear expensive jewelry he bought her. Eventually, he auctioned the jewelry and many film memorabilia around the same time their divorce was finalized in 2018, six years after they separated.
After the divorce, Crowe has opened up about how hard it is to have only "limited time" with his sons. "I don't get to wake up with them every day. And I get them every year between December 27 and January 15. So if you expect me to do anything, anything, I don't give a s--- what it is in that time that doesn't include my children — well you can go and whatever," he said, as per 9Honey.
However, his ex-wife has said that she plans to stay on "the best of terms with Russell." "We have kids together, we’ve been friends since we’ve been teenagers. We’ve been on and off and in and out of each of other’s lives for a very long time. So, ending up in a place where we’re not friends, or we’re not able to get together for the kids and do things like the premiere or Christmas morning, or things that are very important for the kids, I think that would be a really sad place to end up," according to News.com.au.