RENEE RAISES A STINK OVER RUSSELL CROWE

Renee Zellweger‘s ordeal with bully-boy co-star Russell Crowe reads like a page from “Bridget Jones’s Diary”! Filming “The Cinderella Man” with The Intimidator, whose smelly breath and body odor literally made her ill, was like living on Barf City’s borderline, and an insider says Renee complained bitterly to pals: “Russell is a very talented actor–but he’s a real JERK!” Renee’s first “Eeeeewww…!” moment came when she puckered up for an onscreen Crowe kiss–and gagged! Recovering, she politely told him brushing teeth and using mouthwash before kissing scenes would be greatly appreciated–but Cro-Magnon Man ignored the Oscar-winner, say sources! Infuriated, Renee appealed to director Ron “Opie” Howard–widely considered the nicest guy in Hollywood–and insiders say he confronted Crowe with Renee’s complaint that his Godzilla breath and heart-stopping body odor were making her physically ill. Crowe’s response: HO-HUM! That’s when raging Renee put her foot down, refusing further on-camera kissing with Crowe–so director Howard used a body double in the remaining love scenes and shot over her shoulder! Odorgate wasn’t Howard’s only problem. Cast and crew bitched constantly about intimidation by the legendarily arrogant Aussie–a nasty brawler recently headlined in Down Under reports alleging he’d chomped the ear of a bodyguard/pal. Mild-mannered Ron Howard sighed to pals: “It was never like this in Mayberry!” We contacted Renee’s PR person, who said succinctly, “Not true at all.” Calls to Crowe’s flock got no response.

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