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Russell Crowe’s wife Danielle Spencer was ‘feeling a bit neglected’

The Star Opens In Sydney

The Star Opens In Sydney

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Updated: November 17, 2012 6:11AM

Yet another seemingly solid marriage of a famous star has unraveled with the news that Russell Crowe and his wife Danielle Spencer have separated.

While many in Hollywood were surprised, sources in the couple’s Australian home base — and those working with the Oscar winner on his “Noah” film in New York — quietly say they saw this coming.

“It’s very sad,” a longtime friend and neighbor of Crowe and Spencer in Sydney told me Monday. “But Russell really hasn’t been around very much. … And when the two of them were together, he hardly seemed to even notice Danielle was in the room. … In addition, I understood that when Russell was back in Australia, he would stay in one of their other houses much of the time.”

While there have been whispers that Spencer perhaps had become a bit too close to Damian Whitewood, her partner on the Australian version of “Dancing With the Stars,” my Aussie source played that down. “I think she spent time with Damian off the show … going to concerts and various dinners, because she was lonely and feeling a bit neglected by Russell.”

Crowe has been working virtually nonstop for the past couple of years, with the upcoming “Les Miserables” and “Noah” being the two most important films on his slate.

A “Noah” source said Monday that during the time he was with Crowe, the actor “never mentioned his wife once. His kids? He talks about them all the time.”

Though married only nine years, Crowe and Spencer, the parents of sons Charles, 8, and Tennyson, 6, have been close since meeting on a film more than 20 years ago.

WEDDING BELLS? No one’s talking on the record, but I’m hearing that those close to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher think the longtime best friends-turned-lovers will soon walk down the aisle — once Kutcher gets everything settled with former love Demi Moore.

ENGAGING STUNT: Considering who we’re dealing with here, I guess it’s no surprise that singer Neal Schon proposed to White House state dinner gatecrasher Michaele Salahi on stage Sunday night at a Journey concert in Baltimore. Of course the former “Real Housewives of Washington” reality personality said yes to the musician, who she’s been with since abruptly dumping ex-husband Tareq Salahi last year.

As I have often said, that old “15 minutes of fame” line is able to be applied way too long for some people these days!

TAKE NOTE: Duran Duran bassist John Taylor will make a special appearance at City Winery Chicago Oct. 30 — reading from his new memoir, “In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran.”

Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up to Lee DeWyze on Season 9 of “American Idol” — who long lived and performed in Chicago — has just been signed by Shanachie Entertainment. She’ll record an album either in Nashville or Los Angeles for release early next year.

TV TALK: Budding actress Addy Stafford — the daughter of NBC-5 news anchor Rob Stafford and his wife, Lisa — will appear on the Oct. 24 episode of the new, locally-made NBC drama series “Chicago Fire,” playing an accident victim whose friend is killed when a window washer’s cart falls from a high rise on their car. The incident was based on the tragedy from several years ago — when a similar accident occurred at the John Hancock Center.

MAKING MOVIES: Fans of “Memphis,” the Tony-winning musical about a 1950s-era white radio DJ who falls in love with a black singer — at the beginning of the civil rights era — will be happy to know the show is being turned into a film. Belle Pictures and the Mark Gordon Co. will produce the movie with Alcon Entertainment, based at Warner Bros. Joe DiPietro, who co-wrote the Broadway show’s book and lyrics, will pen the screenplay.

† Newly named Oscar host Seth MacFarlane has another reason to smile this week. “Ted,” his feature film directorial debut, just became the biggest-ever worldwide box office hit for a R-rated comedy — passing previous champ, “The Hangover,” by racking up $469 million in ticket sales around the globe.

† Joining him among the ranks of awards show hosts will be Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, named Monday to host the Golden Globes in January.

CASE THROWN OUT: The class action lawsuit filed in April against “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” reality shows was dismissed Monday, with the judge ruling against claims made by football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson — alleging the shows discriminate based on race.

The two African-American plaintiffs — who both unsuccessfully auditioned for “The Bachelor” — also had charged that the shows never have had a winner “who is a person of color.”

“We felt from the onset this case was completely without merit,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson told

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Music legend Neil Young — joined by a group of friends and family members — made a return to his regular Chicago steakery, Gene & Georgetti’s. … T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (“In Living Color,” “Cosby,” “That’s So Raven”) was the star attaction at her 50th birthday show Saturday at St. Sabina Academy — an important benefit for her alma mater and other community organizations working to improve conditions in the Englewood and Auburn/Gresham neighborhoods. … Wilmer Valderrama partied both at Studio Paris and Board Room, where (separately) Miss USA Olivia Culpo and Kryz Reid, the guitarist from Third Eye Blind, also made the scene. … Patrick Kane was spied schmoozing at the Epic lounge in River North, where there will be viewing party Wednesday for the season premiere of Sandra Lee’s new “Taverns, Lounges and Clubs” on Cooking Channel — which, natch, features Epic. … Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd — here for Chicago Ideas Week events — slipped into RPM Italian to get his pasta fix.

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