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.
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.
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.
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.
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.