Sly Stallone speaks out for first time since son's death
Conflicting reports are surfacing about the days leading up to the death of Sylvester Stallone's son, Sage Moonblood Stallone.
Sylvester Stallone is speaking out about rampant speculation following the sudden death of his 36-year-old son, who was found dead at his home Friday -- two days before he was to marry his longtime girlfriend.
"When a parent loses a child there is no greater pain," the Rocky star told TMZ. "Therefore I am imploring people to respect my talented son's memory and feel compassion for his loving mother, Sasha."
The son from Sly's marriage to Sasha Czack, Sage Moonblood Stallone acted alongside his father in Rocky V in 1990.
In more recent years, Sage was known more for his offscreen work, founding Grindhouse Releasing, a company dedicated to preserving and promoting B-movies from the 1970s and 1980s.
The company's website featured a prominent photo of Sage alongside the words "director/actor/film preservationist."
"This agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives," his grieving dad told TMZ Monday morning. "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."
Perhaps the actor known best for the Rocky franchise was speaking to no one more than TMZ.
TMZ reported Sage died from an overdose the same day he was found at his Hollywood Hills home.
The outlet alleges Sage left no suicide note and, by way of sources, that "numerous empty pill bottles" and empty beer cans were found in his room.
His lawyer, George Braunstein, tells People that the "beer cans" were actually empty bottles of Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.
He insists Sage didn't drink, and never exhibited "any signs of drug use or addiction."
"Sage was a really young, very sensitive, and very talented kid," Braunstein told People. "There has been no indication that there was anything wrong in his life."
Life on the upswing?
In fact, Sage was supposed to his marry his longtime girlfriend in Vegas on Sunday -- just two days after he was reportedly found during a "welfare check" of his home.
Sage and his business partner, Bob Murawsky, had also signed a new contract to acquire a new film for Grindhouse Releasing.
But TMZ has shot down this contrasting happy picture since the story broke on Friday.
It reports that sources claim the actor-director "lived like Howard Hughes," spending his days in a room "littered with junk," including cigarette butts, beer and soda cans, and food.
Robert Rhine, publisher for a grindhouse-style mag, Girls and Corpses, also told TMZ that back in May he did a photo shoot at Sage's house.
Not only was the place a mess (in Rhine's words, "disgusting"), but Sage allegedly took 45 minutes to answer the door.
When he did answer, Rhine said he could tell he was "on something" right away, as he was slurring his words and attempted to shoot some photos -- with the lens cap still on the camera.
Law enforcement sources, according to TMZ, believe the death was an accident.
As of Monday morning, it was widely reported that the autopsy had been completed. But it can take four to six weeks to get the results, pending a toxicology report.
Right before Sly got the news, he was promoting his upcoming film, Expendables 2, at Comic-Con on Thursday.