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Is Russell Crowe “desperately” trying to drop more than a third of his body weight in order to star in the sequel to Gladiator? The tabloid reporting this shady story ought to be ashamed of itself, for more than one reason. Gossip Cop has a lot to say about this article, and the tabloid trend it represents.

Unsurprisingly, the Globe is behind this week’s offensive rumor concerning the Gladiator star. Russell Crowe, according to the often debunked outlet, “desperately” wants to shed about 150 pounds off his supposedly “350 pound” frame in order to reprise his role in the highly-anticipated Gladiator 2.

A source tells the gossip rag, “Russell is determined to shed at least 150 pounds and tone up, but it’s been a nightmare and he’s grouchy as hell.” Though Crowe is allegedly insisting on losing the weight “the old-fashioned way” by exercising seven days a week with a trainer, “consulting a nutritionist and hiring a chef to prepare low-calorie meals for him.”

In addition to those members of Crowe’s so-called “get fit team,” the actor has also supposedly hired a masseur and a life coach.” Crowe is “even doing daily meditation sessions to make him forget how frustrated and hungry he is.” The dubious insider goes on to say, “His friends are supportive but inwardly skeptical he’ll be able to keep this up until production starts.” Despite his difficulties, and the skepticism of his friends, Crowe is “determined to get back in fighting shape” for Gladiator 2.

There’s so much nonsense in this story that it’s almost impossible to take seriously. First of all, Gladiator 2 hasn’t even been written yet, since the director Ridley Scott is very particular about the quality of the script and wants to make sure the sequel lives up to its original. There's also the matter of Crowe's character who (spoiler alert) famously died in the first film. It's possible his character could be brought back, but it's unlikely.

Secondly, this outlet in particular seems to have a sick fascination with Russell Crowe’s weight. This is the third story from the Globe about Crowe’s weight that Gossip Cop has encountered in two years. Last February, the outlet claimed Crowe’s friends feared he was “eating himself into the grave.” Gossip Cop determined that was a lie after speaking on background with a source close to the situation. Almost a year to the date ago, that same publication argued the Oscar-winner was lying about wearing a fat suit for certain roles and was, in reality, very fat. That, too, was proven false by a source close to the actor, who confirmed his use of fat suits to Gossip Cop.

Tabloids are known for their unhealthy obsession with bodies and how thin, or how fat, the bodies of celebrities get, but this is way out of line. This isn’t the only outlet that has held an inappropriate focus on Crowe’s weight over the years, either. Last November, the National Enquirer insisted Crowe’s weight was ruining his love life. That was simply untrue. These tabloids really ought to get a life and stop worrying so much about another person’s weight.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop cannot come to a verdict either way.

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