The sordid last months of Sage Stallone: Filmmaker ‘lived like a hermit in a house of squalor’ and was said to be 'out of it'
14:40 GMT, 15 July 2012
Sage Stallone has been described as being 'out of it' just a few months before his tragic death.
The 36-year-old – who was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment on Friday – is said to have been slurring and stumbling around when he welcomed a friend into his home to do a photo shoot in May.
According to TMZ, Robert Rhine arrived at Sage's house and said that he could tell straight away that Sage was 'on something.'
'Out of it': Sage Stallone was described as being 'on something' just a few months before his tragic and sudden death
The editor-in-chief of Girls and Corpses magazine, used Sage's apartment as a setting for the shoot back in May because the subject of the shoot had known Sage for years.
However, Rhine said that it took the dark-haired star 45 minutes to actually answer the door, and when he eventually did, Sage would talk to Rhine for a couple of seconds before 'trailing off and just walking away.'
Rhine went on to compare Sage's behaviour as 'very similar to Ozzy Osbourne,' and said he knew the star was 'on something' when he tried to take his own photos but hadn't even removed the lens cap from his camera.
'Recluse': Police and film crews surrounded Sage's Hollywood Hills home yesterday which was said to have been a 'mess'
While Rhine admits that he never actually saw Sage take anything in his company, he did describe his apartment as a mess with 'piles of stuff everywhere.'
This comes after Law Enforcement apparently told TMZ that Sage's bedroom was 'disgusting' and was littered with cigarette butts and empty cans.
The website reported that the filmmaker 'lived like Howard Hughes' in a room 'littered with junk' – and his body could have laid cold for as long as a week.
'What’s troubling is the fact that the people around him claim there were no signs,' Rhine told the website.
'I saw the signs. When everyone from the shoot heard the news, none of us were surprised.'
Keeping guard: An autopsy on Sage's body could be performed as early as today but toxicology tests will need to determine the cause of death
However, someone who is surprised at the suggestion of a drugs overdose is Sage's lawyer and close friend George Braunstein.
Braunstein believes that the allegations are untrue and claims that he 'never' saw Sage do drugs or drink alcohol.
'Never, no, not from the day I met him,' he told E! News. 'I never knew him to drink alcohol. I never saw him take drugs. I never knew of anything like that at all.
'I'm going to wait to see what the coroner says. I think it was either natural causes or a terrible accident. I don't think it had anything to do with drugs, he wasn't that kind of guy. He wasn't anyone trying to take his life,' he added.
Not that kind of guy: Sage, pictured here in 2006, never drank alcohol or took drugs according to his lawyer
Despite assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter confirming prescription medication bottles were found near Sage's body, Braunstein still believes that his only vice was enjoying sweets.
'Sage didn't even drink. There was a report that his room was filled with liquor bottles. Actually, they were empty bottles of Dr. Brown's Cream Soda,' he explained to People.
'His mother [Sasha Czack] is devastated. They're trying to sort everything out and plan a funeral. Sylvester called, he's upset too. They may be celebs, but they're regular parents. It's tragic,' he added to E! News.
The attorney seems to be painting a very different picture of Sage compared to what law enforcement sources have been telling TMZ.
As well as dispelling rumours of drug use and drinking, Braunstein has also confirmed that Sage posted pictures on his own Facebook page 17 hours before his body was found even though it has been suggested that the star was dead for up to three days before being found.
'Devastated': Sage's father Sylvester, who let his son star alongside him in Rocky V, was in San Diego at Comic Con when he heard the sad news
Sage was said to be planning to wed his long-term girlfriend in Las Vegas next weekend before his sudden death on Friday.
His body was taken straight to the coroner's office after a housekeeper found his body in his Hollywood Hills home.
9-1-1 call was placed shortly before 3pm and the caller said Sage
wasn't breathing and indicated it could be a drug overdose, Radar
The website also
suggest that an autopsy could be performed as early as today, however,
toxicology tests will be needed to determine cause of death.
Sage's father Sylvester was in San Diego attending Comic Con when he learned of his son's death.
The Rambo star is said to be 'devastated' and 'grief-stricken' at losing his eldest child, and yesterday a close friend of his spoke up about the sad news.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has starred in several films with Sylvester released a statement saying: 'My thoughts and prayers are with Sly and his family. Sly has become a great friend over the past couple decades, and I know how important his children are to him.
'I want him to know that my family and I, and his fans all over the world, support him during this difficult time.'
Dear friend: Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement expressing his sorrow and saying that he is here to support Sylvester