HELL-BENT on romancing Russell Crowe, a love-struck Meg Ryan cast a deliberate web of lies to trap her hunky prey.
For the first time, sources have come forward to charge that the not-so-innocent “Sleepless in Seattle” star used a well-orchestrated game plan to ensnare Russell after going gaga when a pal showed her footage from his “Gladiator” epic.
First, the still-married Meg campaigned to get Crowe to do her movie “Proof of Life” — even revising the script to his liking and sending him presents, says a close source. Once he took the role and the two went on location to Ecuador, Meg closed in for the kill.
“She constantly created situations that threw her and Russell together,” disclosed the close source.
“One night at 2 a.m., Meg went to Russell’s room and staged an emotional breakdown over marital woes. Just as Meg had planned it, she ended up in Russell’s sympathetic arms.”
Meg married Dennis Quaid on Valentine’s Day in 1991.
Then when Russell’s uncle died during the production, Meg played supportive friend and counselor, added the close source. “While Russell was at the funeral, Meg moved her things into his hotel room.
“When he injured a shoulder during filming, Meg played nursemaid. And behind his back, she had pretty extras and crew members reassigned so they’d be out of his view.”
Added an insider: “Meg did everything she could to make sure that Russell would end up being with her — and her alone.
“She poured out her heart to him about her marriage to Dennis Quaid.
“She said she worked so hard to make Dennis happy and that all she wanted to be was a good wife and mother.
“But in reality, her marriage was stone cold before she even started work on the film. She concocted the whole sob story just to be able to dry her tears on Russell’s broad shoulders.
“Meg is far from the sweet innocent girl next door she loves to play on the screen.” Added the close source: “In the case of Russell, plotting Meg is a black widow spider!”
— MARC CETNER and SUZANNE ELY
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