He was once one of Hollywood's hottest hunks with his starring role in Gladiator, but things have changed drastically for Aussie actor Russell Crowe.
With his portly figure and unruly grey beard, the 54-year-old looks almost unrecognisable these days – and sources believe his shock new look could be a side effect of his waning relationship with close friend and former love interest Terri Irwin.
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It's no secret Russell has always been a huge fan of Terri's, calling her "one of the most fabulous women on the planet", and the couple have been plagued by romance rumours for years.
Now insiders say Terri has been doing her best to distance herself from Russell – and the actor is in turmoil. "They spent so much time together and were inseparable, so it's certainly strange they haven't been seen together for a while.
"It looks like Russell may have been dumped by Terri – and if that's happened he'll be heartbroken for sure," reveals a source.
"That could explain why he's not looking his best these days. Obviously people age but Russ is a completely different man now, physically and mentally," adds our source, who saw the actor at a recent Gladiator promotional event in Rome, Italy.
"It was like he'd totally given up caring about what he looks like. You got the feeling that if he was allowed to turn up in sweats, he would have."
Perhaps the most compelling evidence his relationship with Terri has taken a turn for the worst is the fact Russell was a no-show at the unveiling of Steve Irwin's posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April.
"Everyone thought it was really weird that Russell wasn't there – he'd normally be by their side as part of the family, and he personally wrote a letter of recommendation to help secure the star," tells our source.
Russell was close friends with Crocodile Hunter Steve until his sudden death from a stingray injury in 2006, and he's been a source of comfort for 53-year-old wildlife conservationist Terri ever since she lost her beloved husband.
Last year he spoke of his affection for Terri again during an interview with Nova 100's Chrissie, Sam & Browny, despite denying reports they were set to tie the knot.
"Terri Irwin is quite frankly one of the most fabulous women on the planet. She is a beautiful person, an intelligent woman, so hardworking, so honourable," he said. "So the thing is I do love Terri Irwin. Absolutely, she's fabulous."
Russell may have feelings for Terri, but she has always insisted – at least publicly – she's not ready to move on from Steve.
"I think it's wonderful when people who have lost someone find love again, but I'm not personally looking," she has said.
But sources say even if Terri has put an end to things, she'll never stop being important to The Nice Guys star.
"Russell and Terri aren't together right now, and if she's made it clear that will never happen he'll be devastated. But it doesn't mean he'll give up on her," adds the insider. "A lot of people think he's hoping they can have a real relationship one day."
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