Grieving father Sylvester Stallone leads mourners at the funeral for his son Sage
00:24 GMT, 22 July 2012
A grieving Sylvester Stallone led mourners today at the private memorial
for his son Sage, who died of a suspected drug overdose at the age of
36, last week.
The 66-year-old actor had his eyes shielded with sunglasses as he was joined by close family and friends for the service, held at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Dressed in a black suit, a black tie and a white shirt, the actor was clearly devastated.
Shattered: A grieving Sylvester Stallone, accompanied by his current wife Jennifer Flavin, led mourners today at the
private memorial for his son Sage, who died of a suspected drug overdose
at the age of 36, last week
Following the service, the actor was seen watching his son's casket being taken away by a hearse.
The hearse was then reportedly driven to Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, where Sage will be buried and finally laid to rest.
Sylvester's ex-wife and Sage's mother Sasha Czack, his current wife Jennifer Flavin, younger brother Frank and longtime friend and attorney Marty Singer were also in attendance at the funeral.
The star also received support from fans, who were seen holding up placards with pictures of the actor and his son from across the street.
Tragedy: Sage died of a suspected drug overdose at the age of 36, last week
The hearse carrying Sage's coffin was earlier seen
arriving at the church.
The vehicle was surrounded by staff of a funeral home.
Details of Sage's funeral emerged earlier this week.
A source told RadarOnline.com: 'Sage
will be buried on Saturday. His body was picked up from the coroner by a
mortuary that is based in Westwood earlier this week.
'The funeral will be private and it will be family and friends only and will be celebration of his life.'
was found dead in his home last week on Friday night, with bottles of pills
scattered all over his room, the L.A. County Coroner reported.
Toxicology results are expected within four to six weeks.
Hollywood star Stallone who is said to
be grief stricken by Sage’s death, released an emotional statement earlier this week,
talking about his 'agonising' loss.
He said: 'When a parent loses a child there is no greater pain… This agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.
In mourning: The 66-year-old actor had his eyes shielded with sunglasses as he was joined by close family and friends for the service
Devastated: Following the service, the actor was seen watching his son's casket being taken away by a hearse
was our first child and the centre of our universe and I am humbly
begging for all to have my son's memory in full left in peace.'
funeral today comes after claims law enforcement sources revealed that
authorities investigating the death of Sage believe he was a drug
Insiders apparently told TMZ that it is thought that a 'likely scenario' is Sage
was dealing Hydrocodone- more commonly known as Vicodin- but not an
Motorcade: The hearse carrying Sage's coffin left the church surrounded by a police motorcade
A key factor in this theory is said to be the late actor's weight.
At 188lbs and 5'7″, Sage didn't have the thin frame which is usually a trait of addicts.
TMZ was reportedly told: 'He was pudgy, and drug addicts are almost always rail thin.'
The website's source claimed that no
Hydrocodone tablets were found in Sage's house, but that there were over
60 gigantic empty prescription bottles.
Procession: The hearse was earlier seen
arriving at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Brentwood, Los Angeles this morning, where the funeral took place
Security: Police guarded the entrance of the church as mourners arrived for the memorial
Each of these would have held 500 pills, meaning that Sage would have had over 30,000.
LAPD detectives and L.A. County
Coroner investigators will apparently use batch numbers and serial
numbers to track down the bottles, but it is thought highly probably
that they were shipped from abroad.
bags of white powder found in the room where Sage died have not yet
been tested, but it is said to be likely that they contained
Arrangements: Large flowers were seen carried out of the church following the service
Fan support: Fans were seen holding up placards with pictures of the actor and his son, from across the street
Meanwhile a close friend of Sylvester's late son has come forward to say that Sage did not take his own life.
Stephen Wozniak claims that Sage had
no intention of committing suicide, and had been making plans for the
future with him shortly before his demise.
Wozniak told TMZ: 'It was absolutely not suicide.'
Catholic church: The funeral took place at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Brentwood
Gathering: Friends and family of the American
actor, film director, film producer, and screenwriter gathered inside the church for the memorial
He added: ' I'm certain that this really horrible thing that happened was an accident. It could have been anything – but nothing like suicide. I knew him pretty well.'
'I spoke to him a few weeks ago. We talked about resurrecting a film we worked on, other projects, talked about his girlfriend and time they'd spent together. We talked about my wedding and he seemed to be thinking about it.'
While Wozniak does believe that Sage
suffered from depression, he is adamant that the actor and director did
not react to the problem with substance abuse.
Devastated: Hollywood star Stallone, who is said to be
grief stricken by Sage’s death, released an emotional statement earlier this week talking
about his 'agonising' loss
'He would have withdrawal and get depressed,' he told E! News.
'He would try to overcompensate. He would try to clown around and I know that those are things people do, medicate or wake up. He was no different. Very few people were telling him, 'Don't do that.' I did. He was very resistant when you would tell him that. It was a sore point with him.'
Wozniak's claims are at odds with those of Sage's mother, Sylvester's first wife Czack, who has blamed the painkillers her son was using after recent dental surgery for his death.
A father's grief: Stallone is seen cuddling his son in a still from Rocky V in 1990
Probable cause: This week, Sage's mother Sasha Czak, pictured here with her son in 1991,
revealed her belief that he had accidentally overdosed on pain
medication following extensive dental work
This week it was claimed that Sage's father Sylvester hired a private investigator to discover exactly what happened to his late son.
According to TMZ, the actor met with top P.I. Scott Ross in an effort to understand what led to the tragic death of Sage, last week.
The website reported that Ross was called to Stallone's home to discuss the investigation with the actor, his brother Frank and an L.A. County Coroner representative.
Sudden death: The body of the 36-year-old Sage Stallone was seen being removed from his home after his tragic death last week
Ross was behind the probes into the Chris Brown/Rihanna battery case and Michael Jackson molestation case.
While it is widely believed that Sage overdosed on painkillers following dental surgery, Stallone wants to know if he was using drugs or drinking alcohol in the lead up to his death, it is claimed.
'Not depressed': Sage’s lawyer has said Sylvester's son was planning to get married and was not depressed before he tragically passed away
According to TMZ, Ross has a history of working with Stallone and is a trusted friend.
This week, Sage's mother Sasha revealed her belief that he had accidentally overdosed on pain medication following extensive dental work.
In her first public comments on her son Sage's death, Czak said she had begged him not to have so much dental work carried out in one day.
She said her son had five teeth extracted two weeks before he was found dead at his Hollywood home last week on Friday.
Czak, Stallone's first wife, said she had warned her son about having so much dental work carried out in one sitting.
'I told him not to do that. I've heard about people dying having multiple procedures done to you mouth. Do not have more than one tooth (pulled),' she told the New York Post.
When asked if her son would be taking pain medication, she added: 'Wouldn't you be.'
Los Angeles coroner Ed Winter has denied reports that Sage was living in squalor when his body was found.
One report said he was surrounded by rubbish and cigarette butts and had become a recluse.
'Sage Stallone wasn't living in squalor. His home wasn't unordinarily messy. It seemed to be a typical male messiness. Mr. Stallone did have a housekeeper,' Winter told website Radaronline.
Although foul play is not suspected Los Angeles detectives are helping out in the investigation.
Sage’s lawyer has said he was planning to get married and was not depressed.