Well, that didn’t take long.
Not even a week after his son Sage, 36, was found dead at his Studio City home, Sylvester Stallone found himself under attack by a member of his own family. In what friends see as the ultimate act of betrayal, Sage’s 18-year-old cousin, Edd Filiti, took to the Internet on Friday, the day Sage’s death was announced, and posted angry Facebook messages, according to Celebuzz, that suggested that tension between Sage and the Rocky star was partially to blame for his son’s death.
Filiti, who reportedly posted the messages on Friday but has since taken them down, apparently ranted against Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin: “Neither you [Flavin] or he could return a phone call, which is all he wanted, his father.”
“I know you don’t care what happened,” Filiti reportedly continued, “but you’ll care when your [sic] squirming under the burning magnifying glass of public opinion. You people making me (bleeping) sick.”
In a direct jab at Flavin, Filiti reportedly wrote, “Jennifer Flavin, you won. You tore this family apart and got your trophy, Congrats! Like you told my family, ‘I’m Sly’s family now, he doesn’t [need] you anymore.’ Let’s see how much he needs you after this.”
Stallone and Flavin have been together since 1988—married since 1997—and have three daughters, Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet. Stallone was married to Sage’s mother, Sasha Czack, from 1974 to 1985. The couple also had another son, Seargeoh.
But Stallone’s rep, Michelle Bega, told The Daily Beast, “Such reports [of a family rupture] are untrue. Sly and Sage had a loving, supportive father-and-son relationship—one that was meaningful and important to them both. Any reports to the contrary are offensive and destructive.”
A friend of the family fumed, “[Statements like Filiti’s] are vicious lies, being told by people who have an agenda and who positively do not know anything about any relationship between them. They weren’t there. This is so heartbreakingly hurtful that people are speaking to the media with a determination to slander and destroy.”
Indeed, this reporter once had dinner with Stallone several years ago, and the actor spent the evening bragging about his wife and children—including Sage. At the time Stallone was in a slow spell in his career, but instead of worrying about his next role he seemed to revel in his downtime as it allowed him to spend more time with his children.
Stallone, whom confidantes describe as “the ultimate family man,” is said to be utterly devastated over his son’s death and has canceled all appearances he was to make for his new movie, The Expendables 2. He is said to be hunkered down and not returning phone calls or receiving visitors while he grieves.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Coroner has completed an autopsy on Sage, who, it has been speculated, died of an accidental overdose after several bottles of prescription pills were found at the scene. Results of the autopsy weren't available yet and a toxicology report is not expected for six to eight weeks. The LAPD has said that depending on what the results are, it could possibly contact doctors to obtain medical records.
Over the past few days, Stallone has issued statements asking for privacy.
“Please respect my talented son’s memory and feel compassion for his loving mother, Sasha,” Stallone said. “This agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives. Sage was our first child and the center of our universe and I am humbly begging for all to have my son’s memory and soul left in peace.”