Russell Crowe is selling his stake in an Australian rugby league club in a bid to "simplify" his life after splitting from his wife.

The Oscar winner has been a proud co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs for six years, but it appears Crowe is keen to scale back, according to an email he reportedly sent to a local television reporter.

The Gladiator star wrote, "My family situation has changed. I have to address personally how busy I have made my life outside of my actual job. It doesn't change anything at the club level. I will always be a South Sydney supporter and member, as I have been, man and boy, South Sydney 'til I die.

"If I have any chance of keeping my family together, I have to simplify my life where I can."

The team is Australian rugby league's most successful - thanks to Crowe's investment in 2006, they have enjoyed a rebirth in recent years.

Officials at the club held a press conference on Monday (19Nov12) confirming the news, and Crowe took to his page to assure fans over fears the team would be greatly affected by his decision.

In a post, he writes, "Don't listen to panic merchants and self promoters. South Sydney is a strong business that is set to continue to grow."