Sage Stallone (left) with uncle Frank StalloneSylvester Stallone's son Sage Stallone seems to have been living in two different worlds before his death at 36 of a possible accidental drug overdose. One was the world his friends and family apparently saw -- a carefree world free from drugs, alcohol, and other major problems. The other was the much darker world business associates and police are saying may have led him to die so young.
Even as cops on the scene stood by their report that Sage had been dead at least three days before his body was found in a filthy room littered with beer cans, cigarettes, and pill bottles, his friend and lawyer George Braunstein had an entirely different explanation.
Braunstein said Sage had posted photos to Facebook less than a day earlier, he never drank or took drugs, and he was not a hermit but a happy guy who planned to marry his girlfriend in Las Vegas. But someone who worked with Sage recently said Stallone's son was definitely on something.
Robert Rhine, who edits a shady-sounding magazine called Girls and Corpses, told TMZ he did a photo shoot at Sage's house in May and he wasn't the least bit surprised to hear the sad news. He said Stallone's first-born child was completely "out of it" the whole time, slurring his words, trailing off mid-sentence, wandering away at random, and taking pictures with the lens cap on (though in Sage's defense, haven't we all done that?). He said it was obvious Sage was on some kind of drug or another.
So who should we believe? An autopsy is reportedly being done this very minute, so I guess we'll have some answers soon. But to me it sounds like a classic case of denial on the part of those close to Sage.
Thirty-six-year-old men don't usually just die of natural causes. Unless they have some illness or undiagnosed condition, there's typically something pretty unnatural behind sudden, untimely deaths like Sage's. And Braunstein's story doesn't ring true. It sounds too perfect, too sanitized. It seems like either Sage's family and friends didn't know he had a drug problem, suspected he did but looked the other way, or don't want us to know he was teetering on the edge.
Look, I feel for all of them. But denial, as they say, is an ugly thing. And while I understand and respect their right to privacy during such a tragic time, they aren't doing anybody any favors by turning a blind eye to what may have killed a young man they knew and loved far too soon.
Do you think Sage Stallone had a drug problem and his loved ones are in denial about it?
Image via Getty