Since his 36-year-old son Sage was found dead on Friday, Sylvester Stallone has been going through every parent's nightmare. Except I think his situation is even worse, because not only is he a father mourning the death of his child, he's having to endure the relentless attention and speculation that comes with being a celebrity in the midst of a crisis.
The details surrounding Sage's death have become a lively topic for water cooler discussion lately, with plenty of rumors about drug use and the state of his room when his body was found. The only confirmed detail about Sage's death so far is that there were no signs of foul play, but that hasn't stopped tabloids from publishing all sorts of theories about what happened.
As for Stallone, he's taken the somewhat unusual tactic of pleading for the press to leave his son alone. In a statement that goes far beyond the usual "we respectfully ask for privacy during this difficult time," Stallone is flat-out begging for compassion.
Stallone's statement reads loud and clear: give us space.
When a parent loses a child there is no greater pain. Therefore I am imploring people to respect my talented son's memory and feel compassion for his loving mother Sasha. 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.
The real tragedy here is that no matter what he says or how much he pleads, there's no way the press will leave him be right now. The story's too juicy, and despite the fact that we're talking about real parents who are in devastating pain, the fact is that most people don't really view celebrities as human -- we see them as entertainment, pure and simple.
Horribly, the Westboro Baptist Church is even planning to picket Sage's funeral, because ... well, I can't even really tell, these sick tweets from church leader Margie Phelps are so deranged. Because Sylvester Stallone was married more than once, I guess?
Thrice-married rebel taught his son to mock God. @picketfuneral
Adulterous dad brought wrath of God on son. @BloodOnDadsHands @picketfuneral @woe
Tell @TheSlyStallone to mourn for his sins, not pimp out son's dead body to more proud sin!
Sage was the oldest of Sylvester Stallone's children and co-starred with his father in two movies. He was a filmmaker who by many accounts seemed to be a likable guy working hard to make his own name in the industry. Some even say he was about to get married soon.
Whatever caused Sage Stallone's untimely demise, it's really none of our business. For his parents' sake, I hope there's a celebrity wardrobe malfunction soon, or Suri Cruise is photographed wearing a tiara or something, because he deserves to rest in peace -- and they deserve to grieve in private.
Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr