Actor Sylvester Stallone celebrated his 23rd wedding anniversary with wife Jennifer Flavin in May 2020. The couple share three daughters – Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet.
The Rocky icon was previously married to Sasha Czack from 1974 to 1985. Though he had a wife at home, Stallone was approached by aspiring Danish actor Brigitte Nielsen (who was also married at the time) in a a particularly creative manner, which soon led to another walk down the aisle.
Special delivery for Sylvester Stallone
Nielsen was hoping to make her mark in showbiz in 1985. Just 22 years old at the time, she boldly contacted Stallone, 17 years her senior, by sending him a promo photo of herself along with a note right to his hotel door in Manhattan.
”My name is Brigitte Nielsen,” the message read, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I’d really like to meet you. Here’s my number.”
Stallone was immediately intrigued and went to see Nielsen the same night. The two headed to the altar a short time later in December 1985, and went on to co-star in Rocky IV and Cobra. Yet just 19 months later, Stallone filed for divorce.
Brigitte Nielsen insisted she wasn’t a gold digger
When Stallone tied the knot with Nielsen, many speculated the aspiring actor was after the Oscar winner’s money and Hollywood connections. Nielsen maintained it was Stallone who was in a hurry to get hitched.
“The biggest misconception while I was with Sylvester was the fact that everybody thought I married him because of money,” Nielsen said on Oprah: Where Are They Now?, as reported by Huffpost. “They didn’t understand that he begged me to marry. He begged me!”
Though the Danish model claimed to be hesitant about rushing in to marriage, Nielsen overcame her doubts partially due to Stallone’s image.
“I remember thinking, ‘This is too early. This is not right,’” she explained. “At the same time, everybody was going, ‘Who wouldn’t want to marry Rocky?’”
The divorce from Sylvester Stallone hurt Brigitte Nielsen’s career
Later reflecting on her time with Stallone, Nielsen admitted she should have done things differently.
“If I would go back in time, I shouldn’t have married him,” Nielsen revealed. “And he shouldn’t have married me! I don’t want to sit here and come across as an angel. I probably was also a pain in the butt at times… But it really just wasn’t for me, and it became very ugly, like some divorces do.”
Though she appeared in some films, Nielsen’s career never took off. She attributed her lack of opportunities to her split from Stallone.
“When I left Sylvester, all doors closed on me,” she said. “I was basically blacklisted.”
Apparently, the two have evolved to an amicable relationship where Nielsen reprised her role as Ivan Drago’s ex-wife Ludmilla in the 2018 film Creed 2. Now married to her fifth husband, Mattia Dessi, since 2006, Nielsen welcomed their first child in 2018 at the age of 54. While she received mixed reactions to having daughter Frida later in life, Nielsen pays little attention to what other people think.
“I get a lot of letters and emails from women, so excited that I’ve given them the courage,” she said in 2019 of having a child in her 50s, as reported by The Guardian. “Some find it ridiculous, some find it awful, and some love it. I don’t really think it’s anyone’s business. It’s my husband and my life and we love what we do.”
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