Representatives for Sylvester Stallone claim the actor was blackmailed by his half-sister, Toni-Ann Filiti, who claimed the “Rocky” star had abused her for years before he became famous.
Filiti threatened to take Stallone to court, but in 1987, the actor agreed to a settlement worth $2 million, another $16,666.66 every month for the rest of her life, plus an annual rate of $50,000 for medical and psychiatric costs, according to documents obtained by the New York Post.
Filiti died last August at 48, decades after she “asserted claims for personal injury, including physical injury,” against Stallone. The actor’s camp “vigorously denied and continues to deny and dispute all claims of wrongdoing.
“Unfortunately, celebrities, politicians and athletes frequently find themselves the targets of blackmail efforts by family members and associates who fabricate claims in order to extort payments from them,” Stallone’s representatives told the Post in a claim that was reiterated by the action star’s mother.
“This was nothing more than a shakedown,” Jacqueline Stallone said. “Tori-Ann was on 65 Oxycontin pills a day, and she threatened Sylvester. A drug addict will do anything. When Sylvester became famous, she didn’t have to hook. He was trying to help her. He caved in.”
Tori-Ann’s 19-year-old son, Edd Filiti, said Stallone is trying to make his deceased half-sister a “black sheep” of the family. Edd has spoken out against the “Rambo” actor, who starred in both “Expendables” movies, previously accusing him of neglecting his son, Sage Stallone, just days before Sage died. Celebuzz reported that Edd attacked Stallone’s wife, Jennifer Flavin, on Facebook.
“What did he do wrong, say happy birthday,” Edd, who was a cousin to Sage, wrote. “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, but you’ll care when your squirming under the burning magnifying glass of public opinion.”
Edd later recanted his statements, citing raw emotion as the trigger, but fingers have been pointed at Stallone since he first entered the national spotlight with “Rocky.” The iconic movie about a Philadelphia-born boxer seemingly wrote itself, inspired by real-life boxer Chuck Wepner, a consummate underdog who went 15 rounds against Muhammad Ali.
Wepner’s story, Stallone’s alleged plagarism and the ensuing litigation became the focus of “The Real Rocky,” a made-for-television documentary produced under ESPN’s “30 For 30” umbrella. Stallone would later settle in an out-of-court agreement where he denied any wrongdoing, an obvious similarity to the blackmail case.