Skip to content

Sylvester Stallone Once Dumped Jennifer Flavin With a "Six-Page Handwritten Letter"

“It was pretty sloppy," she said of the breakup via mail in 1994.

Today, Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin have been married for 25 years, have three children together, and just premiered their family's new reality TV show. But, in 1994, after five and a half years of dating, Stallone broke up with Flavin via a handwritten letter that was six pages long. The issue behind the split? He had fathered a baby with another woman… or so he believed.

Stallone split from Flavin when he thought he was the father of model Janice Dickinson's baby, but DNA testing later proved that that wasn't the case. He and Flavin then made up, moved on with their relationship, and eventually got married.

While they were apart, Flavin shared all the details of their nontraditional breakup with People, including the dramatic letter she received from her longtime partner. Read on to see what she had to say and to learn more about his affair with Dickinson.

READ THIS NEXT: Meg Ryan Said Russell Crowe Affair Didn't End Marriage to Dennis Quaid: "I Was a Mess."

Stallone sent a lengthy breakup letter.

Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin in Los Angeles circa 1991
Bart Sherkow / Shutterstock

Stallone and Flavin first met at a restaurant in West Hollywood in 1988. So by their 1994 split, they had been together for nearly six years.

Flavin spoke to People about their breakup in May of that year. "He sent me a six-page handwritten letter, in pen," she said. "It was pretty sloppy."

The then-25-year-old model said that she was hurt Stallone, then 47, broke up with her in this way.

"I was disappointed," she said. "You can't just write somebody off in a letter after six years. It's not like I was going to try to beg him to come back to me or anything. I just wanted to talk."

She found out about the baby from someone else.

Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin circa 1998
Diane Freed / Stringer / Getty Images

According to the People interview, Flavin didn't find out about Stallone's potential paternity from the letter but from her agent at Elite Model Management a few days later. She said that hearing the news felt "like every woman's worst nightmare."

"It hit me like a ton of bricks," Flavin said. "I had no idea this was going to happen. We talked about us having children, about when I was going to get pregnant. We were already picking names, marking down names that he liked and I liked."

Flavin also explained that she had planned to go to Florida where Stallone was filming The Specialist, but he suggested that she postpone her visit. Instead, it was Dickinson and her baby who traveled to be with him.

"I thought he was just a little nervous about moving to Miami and starting a new movie," she said. "Now I know he was a lot nervous. It's a good thing I can laugh about it now, right?"

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

A DNA test changed everything.

Janice Dickinson and daughter Savannah in 2012
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

Clearly, Stallone had been with Dickinson during his relationship with Flavin, if he believed himself to have fathered her child. But, as People reported, he might have thought that he and Flavin weren't exclusive. "When we come together, it is wonderful," Stallone said in 1991, according to the publication. But, he added, "When we are separate, there are no strings attached. That's the way it is. No strings."

Either way, Stallone was ready to leave Flavin to be with Dickinson and raise their child, Savannah Dickinson, together. (She was given the name Savannah Stallone when she was born.) But a DNA test revealed that he was not Savannah's father.

In her 2002 memoir, No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel, Dickinson explained that she had been seeing three men around the time that Savannah was conceived: Stallone, producer Michael Birnbaum, and an unnamed artist. Birnbaum was found to be Savannah's biological father.

Stallone and Flavin reconciled.

Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Flavin, and their daughters at the premiere of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in 2017
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Stallone and Flavin didn't immediately reconcile after the DNA test results came in. During their split, the Rocky actor went on to become engaged to another modelAngie Everhart, in 1995.

Everhart and Stallone didn't end up marrying, and after they split, Flavin and Stallone got back together. In 1996, they welcomed their first child, Sophia Stallone. In 1997, they got married, and they went on to welcome two more daughters: Sistine Stallone in 1998 and Scarlett Stallone in 2002.

This is Flavin's only marriage and Stallone's third. He was previously married to Sasha Czack—with whom he welcomed children Sage Stallone and Seargeoh Stallone—from 1974 to 1985. He then wed Brigitte Nielsen in 1985, and they divorced two years later.

They nearly split again years later.

Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin at the 2016 Oscars
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

In August 2022, Flavin and Stallone made headlines when she filed for divorce.

"I'm sad to announce that after 25 years of marriage I have filed for divorce from my husband Sylvester Stallone," Flavin told People. "While we will no longer be married, I will always cherish the more than 30-year relationship that we shared, and I know we are both committed to our beautiful daughters. I ask for privacy for our family as we amicably move forward."

But a month later, they announced that they had reconciled again.

"They decided to meet back up at home, where they talked and were able to work out their differences," Stallone's rep told Page Six in September 2022. "They are both extremely happy."

Now, they are showcasing their marriage in a reality show that also features their daughters. The Family Stallone premiered on Paramount+ in May.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under