Did Sylvester Stallone And Richard Gere Really Fight Over Princess Diana?
There was a time when Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere were lauded as two of Hollywood’s foremost leading men, with the former making his name in the Rocky and Rambo franchises and the latter a walking embodiment of the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ maxim, in flicks such as Days of Heaven, American Gigalo, An Officer and a Gentleman and of course, Pretty Woman.
Although these days the filmographies of both might be different in style and substance, right back at the start, the pair were set to star in 1974’s The Lords of Flatbush together. However, when the flick was released, Gere was nowhere to be seen, with Perry King taking over his role. Gere was allegedly fired because he and Stallone had developed a rivalry that had increased in heat, with the anecdotes of the situation infamous, ranging from physical flashpoints to a rumour involving a gerbil.
Their feud endured for four decades, with it being alleged that Gere never forgave Stallone for getting him kicked off the film, and according to one eminent musician, Elton John, it all came to a head one night at a party, with the singer claiming that the pair nearly came to blows over none other than Princess Diana.
Elton John’s 2019 autobiography, Me, was brimming with outlandish tales, including that Michael Jackson was “disturbing” to be around. However, one of the highlights was the one featuring Stallone and Gere. The ‘Rocket Man’ musician detailed a dinner party he hosted at which other legends such as George Michael, Richard Curtis and Jeffrey Katzenberg were in attendance, but for a while, everyone was preoccupied with the evident tension between Gere and Stallone.
“The most peculiar scene developed,” John wrote. “Straight away, Richard Gere and Diana seemed very taken with each other.”
The English singer then recalled Gere and Diana being locked in conversation by the fireplace, but that all of a sudden, the mood of the room shifted: “As the rest of us chatted, I couldn’t help notice a strange atmosphere in the room. Judging by the kind of looks he kept shooting them, Diana and Richard Gere’s newly blossoming friendship was not going down well with Sylvester Stallone at all. I think he may have turned up to the party with the express intention of picking Diana up, only to find his plans for the evening ruined.”
When it came to dinner time, the group moved into John’s dining room, but according to him, Gere and Stallone were missing, so he sent his partner David Furnish to find out what was happening. “He came back with both of them, but he was wearing a fairly ashen expression,” John noted, claiming that Furnish had told him that there was “a situation” developing.
He continued: “It transpired that he’d discovered Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere in the corridor, squaring up to each other, apparently about to settle their differences over Diana by having a fistfight.”
Luckily, Furnish broke up the situation by calling the warring duo for food, and after the meal, which was awkward in every sense, Diana and Gere carried on with their flowing conversation by the fireplace, and the incensed Stallone allegedly “stormed off home.”
“I never would have come if I’d known Prince f****n’ Charming was gonna be here,” Stallone said per John’s account. “If I’d wanted her, I would’ve taken her!”
However, as soon as Stallone left, the party’s mood improved, and everyone finally started to enjoy their night. “We managed to wait until his car was out of sight before we started laughing,” John said. “Back in our living room, Diana and Richard Gere were still gazing raptly at each other. She seemed completely unruffled.”
Despite John’s claims, Stallone called them a “complete fabrication” on an Instagram post.