SYDNEY Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe is planning to sell his stake in Australian rugby league club South Sydney Rabbitohs in an effort to "simplify" his life after breaking up with his wife.
In an e-mail to a local television reporter, the 48-year-old said the split had caused him to put on the market the 75 percent holding in the club he has co-owned with businessman Peter Holmes a Court since 2006.
"My family situation has changed," Crowe wrote. "I have to address personally how busy I have made my life outside of my actual job.
"It doesn't change anything at the club level. I will always be a South Sydney supporter and member, as I have been, man and boy, South Sydney 'til I die.
"If I have any chance of keeping my family together, I have to simplify my life where I can."
The Rabbitohs, named for the cry of rabbit hawkers in early 20th century Sydney, are the most successful team in Australian rugby league with 20 premiership titles but had fallen on hard times before Crowe made his investment.
Since then, they have enjoyed a revival and this year boasted 22,000 members and reached the semi-finals of the post-season playoffs.
New Zealand-born Crowe won his Oscar in 2000 for his portrayal of Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius in the historical epic Gladiator.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ken Ferris)