Russell Crowe's $5k donation to Beirut diner stuns organisers

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
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  • Russell Crowe
    Russell Crowe
    New Zealand-Australian actor, film producer and musician

Russell Crowe has stunned the organisers behind a GoFundMe campaign to rebuild a restaurant in Beirut by donating a generous $5,000.

The Aussie icon quietly pledged the funds on Thursday morning to assist in the reconstruction of Le Chef, a legendary eatery in the Gemmayze neighbourhood that was damaged during the devastating port explosions on August 4.

A screenshot of Russell Crowe chatting with James Corden from his garage on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN, to air Thursday June 25, 2020
Russell Crowe, pictured here on The Late Late Show in June, has quietly donated $5,000 to rebuild a Beirut restaurant. Photo: Getty Images.

It wasn’t until Richard Hall, a UK journalist and co-creator of the fundraising drive, spotted Russell’s full name on the webpage that the Oscar-winner’s selfless deed was revealed.

“Someone called Russell Crowe made a very generous donation to our Le Chef fundraiser. But not sure if it’s *the* @russellcrowe,” Richard tweeted.

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A screenshot of Russell Crowe's tweet about his $5k donation to rebuild Beirut restaurant Le Chef
Rusty's kind deed stunned fundraising organisers. Photo: Twitter.

A few hours later, Rusty replied and confirmed that it was, in fact, him. He also revealed the touching reason behind his donation, explaining that it was in honour of the late Anthony Bourdain.

“On behalf of Anthony Bourdain. I thought that he would have probably done so if he was still around,” he wrote.

“I wish you and LeChef the best and hope things can be put back together soon,” he added.

A screenshot of a GoFundMe to rebuild Beirut restaurant Le Chef
Le Chef was damaged during Beirut's devastating port explosions in August. Photo: GoFundMe.
A screenshot of Russell Crowe's donation to a GoFundMe to rebuild Beirut restaurant Le Chef
Russell's was the top donation. Photo: GoFundMe.

Celebrity chef Anthony visited Le Chef at least twice before his death in 2018 and praised its “simple, straightforward, home-style classics.”

Rusty’s $5k was the largest donation thus far and helped the fundraiser to reach almost half of the $13k goal in one fell swoop.

A screenshot of tweets thanking Russell Crowe for his donation to rebuild Beirut restaurant Le Chef
Fans praised the Gladiator star's generosity. Photo: Twitter.

Richard thanked the Gladiator star in a later tweet:

“Thank you! This is so generous. I just rewatched the episode with [Anthony] first visit to Le Chef and he really got it. [Chef] Charbel is going to be over the moon.”

Fans of the homegrown talent also praised his kind gesture on Twitter, with one writing, “On ya Rusty”.

“Thanks Russell. Many Lebanese Australians have a strong connection with South Sydney,” said another in reference to Russell’s love of the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s NRL team.

Amid the bushfires in November last year, Russell raised $200,000 — half of which was his own cash — for the NSW Royal Fire Service by auctioning a battered Rabbitohs cap.

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