Date: 11th March 2001
RUSSELL CROWE's presence at last night's (10MAR01) DIRECTOR'S GUILD AWARD ceremony caused the venue to be awash with FBI agents and security on alert following kidnapping threats.
America's FBI (FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION) made the unusual step of confirming there had been kidnap threats made towards Crowe last week (ends10MAR01) to prevent a massive media hype.
But although the GLADIATOR star is refusing to let the threats affect his attendance at this year's (01) glittering movie ceremonies, he is having to take extra precautions to ensure he protects himself from danger. FBI agents were patrolling Los Angeles's Century Plaza Hotel where the ceremony took place and also the near-by Century City Shopping Centre on the look-out for suspicious characters or events. And an entire set of elevators was cut off from public use inside the hotel, so Crowe could arrive quietly, avoiding the press line-up.
One insider insists, "I thought it was just a lot of hype but I've spoken to his friend and apparently it's true. There have been real death threats. They're taking it all very seriously." Crowe, who accepted the DGA nomination in place of director RIDLEY SCOTT agreed to pose for photographs but refused to talk to any press during the ceremony.
DGA President JACK SHEA says, "We take security very seriously, we always do, and we're sure everybody here will remain safe and sound tonight." (SVD/WN/PDD)