Despite Russell Crowe's new family man image, the Gladiator hunk denies marriage and impending fatherhood has changed him - because his wife loves him just the way he is.

The 39-year-old OSCAR-winning actor married Danielle Spencer earlier this year (03), and now the couple are expecting their first child in January (04), journalists are keen to emphasise Crowe's caring, loving side in interviews - rather than the bad boy boorishness, which he has often been accused of.

However, Crowe insists he's still the same man he's always been - because his wife wouldn't want it any other way.

He says, "I get all that stuff - but the bottom line is, if marriage had changed me, the wife would chuck me out. She didn't marry me so that I would change spots or gain stripes or something.

"She married me for who I am."

25/11/2003 17:28