RUSSELL Crowe has been slammed for making a crude joke about "sodomising" a female co-star.
The Gladiator alum gave a tongue-in-cheek anecdote about "sodomising Jacqueline McKenzie on the set of Romper Stomper" that was so inappropriate it was cut from broadcast, but reported by The Guardian.
The 53-year-old Hollywood star's comments stood out like a sore thumb after many of his colleagues used the ceremony to speak out against sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.
According to the publication, the freakish story was met with "muted laughs", and was cut from Channel 7's broadcast.
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Crowe reportedly said, 'I didn't actually intend to do that - I was trying to keep my bits away from her bits, and she's been given one of those pieces of elastic that the girls get when you do those scenes, which protects them from all things, and my bits and pieces were in a little canvas sack with a drawstring'.
However the co-star in question, Jacqueline McKenzie, leaped to the actor's defence on social media.
"How we were trying to be as protective of our modesties as we could, as "sensitive" to each other's feelings as we could BUT when the director called "action", the scripted action was violent and explicit".
McKenzie - who also happened to be present at the AACTAs - just last week revealed she had endured "sexual harassment, bullying, groping, lascivious comments and unwanted advances" during her long career as an actress. "Geoffry Write, the wardrobe department and the crew dealt "sensitively" with the both of us as we all navigated a confronting scene in an extraordinary breakout film that won awards all over the world", she wrote.
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McKenzie, 50, responded to Crowe's comments after the awards show, posting on Facebook that the "conversation of sexual harassment in the workplace bares no relevance to this".
She went on to say there was an irony to the moment. "Obviously I was only intending to make people laugh", Crowe said in a statement released by Sydney radio station2GB's Ben Fordham on Thursday.
"The way I delivered the story was to elicit that half cringe/half laugh reaction..."
"Over the eons, he and I have often laughed at the awkwardness we felt shooting that scene".
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Prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, but only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by USA authorities. Fleming then asked about Zarrab's efforts to get out of USA jail after his March 2016 arrest.
"Especially Jacquie, and she did".