Russell Crowe is not dating my mum, says NRL star Sam Burgess
English rugby star Sam Burgess has shot down rumours that his single mum Julie is dating his Rabbitohs' boss Russell Crowe.
The NRL player says that his widowed 51-year-old mother and the newly single 48-year-old movie star are "just mates" - the seeds of friendship sewn more than three years ago when Crowe offered Burgess a South Sydney contract on the set of 'Robin Hood', News.com.au reported.
Mum Julie, an assistant school headmistress in Leeds, was there for the fawning introductions in 2009 and by all accounts, she, like her son, was utterly won over by the charm offensive launched by the actor to win her son's signature.
Despite Sam's assurances that the two have been "mates for a long time", there is plenty of evidence the Burgess family has captured Crowe's grizzled heart.
Having signed the talented forward, Crowe's regard for Burgess's brothers, Tom, George and Luke, saw him work to recruit them to his club. The brothers have since accepted South Sydney contracts.
While it is generally believed that Crowe's long absences from home, the result of back-to-back film shoots, precipitated the end of the couple's marriage (the couple have not commented on their split), it now seems that the increasingly lonely Spencer may have felt her husband had prioritised his football family over his real one.
While the football community absorbed the shock news earlier in the week that Crowe was withdrawing as an investor in South Sydney, an insider stated plainly what he believes to be behind the actor's decision to quit the club.
"He can no longer be the owner if his relationship with the Burgess family effectively makes him 'dad' to four of the club's players. Now that would be a conflict of interest," the source said.