Russell Crowe shared a touching tribute to the late Sinéad O’Connor following the sudden news of her death at age 56 on Wednesday.
The “Gladiator” actor, 59, recalled a chance encounter he had with the singer outside a pub in Ireland last year in a moving essay posted on his social media.
While working in Ireland — O’Connor’s homeland — last year, the actor said he was having drinks with pals outside a pub in Dalkey, located around 30 minutes from the capital city of Dublin, when a captivating woman walked by him.
“Puffy parker zipped to the nape and her bowed head covered in a scarf,” he wrote of the “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer.
“There under streetlights with mist on my breath, I met Sinéad. She looked in my eyes, and uttered with disarming softness, ‘oh, it’s you Russell,’” the actor recalled.
“She came with us back to the table and sat in the cold and ordered a hot tea. In a conversation without fences we roamed through the recent Dublin heatwave, local politics, American politics,” wrote Crowe, who was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia.
“The ongoing fight for indigenous recognition in many places, but particularly in Australia, her warm memory of New Zealand, faith, music, movies and her brother the writer,” Crowe continued.
“I had the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine.”
Crowe went on to describe the sheer impact the “amazing” singer had on him following the random encounter that night.
“When her second cup was taking on the night air, she rose, embraced us all and strode away into the fog-dimmed streetlights,” he wrote. “We sat there the four of us and variously expressed the same thing. What an amazing woman. Peace be with your courageous heart Sinéad.”
O’Connor’s death comes 18 months after the January 2022 suicide of her 17-year-old son, Shane.
“My beautiful son, Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God,” she tweeted at the time.
“May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”
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