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Sylvester Stallone reveals his father was abusive and ‘jealous of his Hollywood success’

A new Netflix documentary sees Sylvester Stallone delve deep into his difficult childhood and how his life changed practically overnight. The iconic filmmaker and screen star has shared revelations about his challenging past, growing up in New York and Maryland as well as his Hollywood career aspirations. Now 77, Sylvester gives refreshingly honest interviews in the documentary in which he admits he definitely has “regrets”.

The star goes into detail about how his life changed almost overnight when ‘Rocky’ was released in 1976. But he’s also very critical about some of his most well-known projects, talking about how some didn’t work as well as others commercially.

Directed by Thom Zimney, the film also includes interviews with Sylvester’s co-stars like Quentin Tarantino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Talia Shire and Henry Winkler. But most intriguingly are the revelations Sylvester reveals during the documentary, including the origins of his signature crooked smile and slurred speech. The star said it’s because he suffered partial facial paralysis from nerve damage at birth.

He explained that his mother, despite being nine months pregnant, continued to take the bus. She went to labour on the bus and was luckily carried off onto a charity ward, where Sylvester was then born.

He said: “And that’s where I was brought into the world via this accident which kind of paralyzed all the nerves on the side of my mouth. So I was born with this snarl.” Stallone also went into detail about his violent childhood and how his father, Frank Stallone Sr. inspired many of his movie characters.

“My father was Rambo, in reality,” Stallone said, making it clear that Frank Stallone inspired his John Rambo character. “I was raised by a very physical father,” he added. “Nothing was ever settled verbally. It was usually a physical ultimatum.”

Stallone goes on to explain that he “was no stranger to serious pain” and that he and his brother faced violence growing up. He gave one example of when his father grabbed his 13-year-old son off a horse in the middle of a polo match, and added that his mother, Jackie, was “pretty bad too”.

The star said the toughness he had to develop in his childhood ended up informing his philosophy. Stallone said, “I think it just became, ‘I’m not gonna break.’”

Stallone also opens up about how his father was jealous of his success. Fellow filmmaker John Herzfeld is interviewed in the film, and he recalls when Frank Stallone Sr played a character who shoots and kills Stallone’s character and he seemed to enjoy it “a little too much”.

The documentary also has a segment dedicated to Stallone’s late son, Sage, who died at age 36 from coronary artery disease. The documentary includes footage of Stallone on the red carpet with his son and he says: “There’s a line in the movie, ‘I’m so glad he’s born because now I can live through your eyes.’ That, I think, is what fathers look to their children for. It’s an extension of, a slice of immortality. As long as he’s alive, your memory will always be alive, that you did something right. I mean, you hope for that.”

In other news – Ashanti throws Nelly a surprise 49th birthday party

Ashanti went above and beyond for Nelly’s 49th birthday celebration. The “Foolish” singer, 43, threw her boyfriend a surprise birthday party at Frost Bistro & Bar in Atlanta on Thursday, and PEOPLE has the exclusive info and photos from the intimate bash, which featured fellow stars, family members and lots of karaoke.

Nelly’s friends Rasheeda and Kirk Frost (who were in attendance) held the gathering at their restaurant, which was decorated by Ayuna Glitz Events with blue, white and gold balloons, lights, flowers and wrapped windows, doors and tables displaying photos of the “Hot in Herre” rapper and Ashanti. Read More

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