Russell Crowe endured a painful and embarrassing experience with cigarettes when he tried to smuggle them into school as a boy - he accidentally lit the matches in his pocket and set his pubic hair on fire.

The Gladiator star has long battled a nicotine addiction and he reveals he was an early starter, smoking from the start of his teenage years, and he quickly learned not to keep matches in his trousers. The Hollywood actor explains, "I just sort of adjusted myself in my seat and the next thing you know (my crotch was on fire). I was only 13 so I didn't have that much pubic hair. I pretty much killed the first crop." (MT&JMA/WNVLET/LR)

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