Russell Crowe’s niece has spoken out after his property was damaged by catastrophic bushfires in his native Australia, hitting back at ‘bulls**t’ claims that the Oscar winner’s estate was given preferential treatment by firefighters.
Chelsea Crowe, the daughter of Crowe’s only brother, Terry, made the statement in a lengthy Facebook post after a neighbor suggested emergency services flocked to the actor’s residence in New South Wales (NSW) instead of the homes of “normal, everyday people” — a claim the NSW Rural Fire Service has dismissed.
Setting the record straight
Chelsea, who is believed to live near her uncle’s palatial property in Nana Glen, west of Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast, said, “Unfortunately, there is a lot of gossip and bulls**t going around that fire crews abandoned properties in favor to protect Russell's home.”
She went on to explain that Crowe’s home is “backed by” a nature reserve and state forest, which made the area a priority.
“This move was not to protect his buildings in particular,” she wrote. “It wouldn't have mattered who lived there. So if you think they were favoring a few buildings of his only, kindly f**k off.”
Although she didn’t reference any critic in particular, Chelsea is likely referring to a neighbor who suggested emergency fire services gave the star’s home preferential treatment while battling the blaze.
“I'm angry because our friends’ house is there burning and all the trucks go to Russell Crowe's,” the local woman told Seven News on Tuesday evening. “What about normal, everyday people?”
The NSW Rural Fire Service were quick to set the record straight, and told Daily Mail Australia that they had no idea who owned the house.
“Firefighters are not aware of whose homes they are being sent to — aerial crews wouldn’t be aware of whose property they are going to either,” a spokesperson told the publication.
“Crews are dispatched on priority of jobs and the properties that need it the most, we are not aware of who owns the properties.”
Confirming the damage
On Wednesday, Crowe took to Twitter to confirm his property was in fact damaged by the fires, writing he had ‘lost a couple of buildings, but overall [has been] very lucky so far’.
“Fire hit my place late in the day yesterday. My heart goes out to everyone in the valley,” he wrote.
“I’m not in Australia. My family are safe, billeted with friends.”
Firefighters have been working through catastrophic conditions to protect lives and keep bushfires across New South Wales away from homes.
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