Russell Crowe Hires Hollywood Attorney Shawn Holley In Azealia Banks Case (Source)

The drama between Russell Crowe and Azealia Banks
continues. “The Nice Guys” actor has now hired Los Angeles attorney
Shawn Holley to represent him, a source close to Crowe confirmed
to Access Hollywood on Tuesday.

Holley, whose past clients include Lindsay Lohan, Nicole
Richie, Mike Tyson and others, has also reached out to and spoken with Banks,
according to Banks’ rep.

In a phone interview on Monday, Banks’ stylist, Rayon
Jones, claimed that she was present when Holley contacted Banks the evening
after a dinner party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oct. 15, during which Banks
claims Crowe spat at her, called her a racial slur and physically removed her
from the gathering.   

Russell Crowe and Azealia Banks
(Getty Images)

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“I felt really bad for her to have to go through
that, and then to be alone and nobody has your back,” Jones, who said she
has only been working with Banks for “two or three weeks,” told

While Jones was not present at the alleged incident, she
said she did hear the conversation between Holley and Banks, as well as an
earlier phone call from rapper RZA that afternoon – both of which Jones said
Banks had put on speaker.

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Jones claimed that RZA, who brought Banks to the hotel
get-together, had told Banks that Crowe wanted to apologize.

However, on Oct. 20, RZA shared a lengthy Facebook post
detailing his version of the events, claiming Banks was “insulting half
the room” and being “erratic,” “loud” and
“obnoxious” before threatening to “cut
a girl in the face with a glass.”

In addition, he said in his post that he
“did not hear” Crowe call Banks a racial slur. According to RZA,
Crowe “blocked” Banks from attacking another partygoer and
“expelled” her from the room.

Jones said she knew nothing of Banks’ alleged behavior
until after the story had “heated up” days after RZA contacted the

Peace. Normally I don't respond to negative social media attacks towards me. Yet in this case of Azealia Banks I'm…

Posted by RZA on Thursday, October 20, 2016

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“That had never come up, even when RZA called her on
the phone,” Jones told Access, adding that Holley didn’t mention those
accusations during her conversation with Banks, either. 

“She never said anything about any broken glass, or
[Banks] threatening to cut somebody’s throat,” Jones claimed, adding that
Holley “wanted it to be known that she was a black woman attorney”
and that, according to Jones, Banks initially thought Holley was calling to
offer her services.

Jones added that Holley also told Banks that “she
didn’t even think that Russell knew [Holley] was a black woman.”

Jones said that Banks, while on the phone with Holley,
“kept stressing the fact” that the case “is not going to go
away, it is going to be a problem, and [Crowe] definitely needs to

In addition, Jones told Access that she accompanied Banks
to file a police report in between her phone calls with RZA and Holley. Jones
said she believes Crowe owes Banks an apology, and that “they should now
put the spotlight on his aggressive” conduct.

Back in 2005, the Oscar winner pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor assault following accusations that he’d thrown a phone at a hotel
concierge in New York.  

Last week, Banks’ manager issued a statement on her
behalf via Twitter, saying the 25-year-old is “tremendously distraught and
disheartened” over the alleged confrontation between her and Crowe.

“She is shell
shocked and will speak out on the incident once she has had time to process the
brutality and abuse she was unjustly subjected to,” the statement added.

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The source told Access Hollywood on Tuesday that “Russell behaved like a
hero” and “acted in defense of his guests,” and claimed that he
“removed her” from the suite “by putting her in a bear hug and
picking her up.”

According to the
source, all 10 people who were there have provided statements that are
“completely inconsistent” with Banks’ account – which the source said
has “changed dramatically” – and claimed that some are
“considering taking legal action” against the rapper. A spokesperson
for the Beverly Hills Police Department wouldn’t confirm that information,
telling Access they will not comment on an ongoing investigation.

“No one
called her the n-word,” the source told Access. “She was yelling the
n-word at everyone else. … her erratic behavior and abusive language scared
everyone there.”

Adding, “she
didn’t get an apology because she wasn’t deserving of one.”

Access has reached
out to Holley, as well as reps for Crowe and RZA for comment.  

On Monday, Banks
sat down with Access Hollywood’s Alex Hudgens in an interview set to air later
this week. 

— Erin Biglow

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