The "Rocky" star, Sylvester Stallone's 2nd wife, Brigitte Nielsen, was also his devoted co-star and model. The actor's 548-day marriage to the pop-eyed beauty was spectacularly tempestuous.
When married, the actress faced stereotypes, and after her divorce from the "Rocky" star, she claimed Hollywood blacklisted her.
As she revealed later, the actor's mom was involved in her marriage's crush. Here are all the details of their family feud.
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen after their wedding ceremony [left], Jackie Stallone as she stepped out for an event circa 1995 [right] | Source: Getty Images
From birth, life was not rosy for Sylvester Stallone. He had a forceps accident which gave him his trademark droopy face. The accident also severed a nerve which made him have slurred speech.
After deciding to study drama and later dramatic arts, he dropped out of school to pursue acting. As an aspiring actor, he cleaned lion cages and worked as an usher at a movie theater.
Once he became popular with "Rocky," he wrote, directed, and starred in sequels to keep the franchise going. In 1982, he struck box-office gold with "Rambo."
In the mid-1990s, his career started to decline, and in 2006, he returned with "Rocky Balboa." Besides starring in "The Expendables," he also served as director and screenwriter.
SYLVESTER STALLONE'S CAREER AND FIRST MARRIAGE
Stallone was first married to Sasha Czack, a photographer, before making his big break with "Rocky" in 1976. They had two boys, Sage and Seargeoh, with Seargeoh being autistic.
The actor, writer, director, and producer began to party hard with his newfound fame and went out with nightclub singer Susan Anton.
Stallone's actions caused doom for their marriage. However, once he started missing his family, Czack took him back in but not for long.
Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack at the Westwood premiere of "Ghostbusters" on June 7, 1984 | Source: Getty Images
SYLVESTER STALLONE AND BRIGITTE NIELSEN'S MARRIAGE
Nielsen began her career as a model before becoming an actress, presenter, and singer. She had reportedly left her first family for her acting career when she starred in "Red Sonja."
Nielsen was previously married to Kasper Winding, and they had one son together before she met Stallone while acting "Red Sonja." Stallone and Nielsen were married from 1985 to 1987, and they had starred in "Rocky IV" and "Cobra."
While Stallone was begging Nielsen to marry him, his mother, Jackie Stallone, a psychic astrologer, had told him not to marry Nielsen because he would file for divorce shortly after.
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen after he received his People's Choice award | Source: Getty Images
Jackie had said she looked into the future and could predict that their marriage would not last. She had revealed that the union would not last longer than the next eclipse.
Nielsen also said people had thought that she married Stallone for his money, and when they divorced, she said she felt like they had blacklisted her. Meanwhile, Stallone said he felt scarred, humiliated, trashed, and battered.
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen looking lovingly at each other circa 1986 | Source: Getty Images
After their divorce, Nielsen blamed her mother-in-law for ruining their marriage and her father's death. Nielsen said in 2005,
"I felt that my father died because of that woman. All because of the misery and the [expletive]. I can't explain to you how bad it was.
Even after Jackie and Nielsen made up after many years when they met on the third series of "Celebrity Big Brother," Nielsen said Jackie destroyed her family, and how Jackie treated her destroyed her marriage to Sylvester.
Photo of Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen on August 28, 1986 | Source: Getty Images
Nielsen revealed that the experience was one she does not think that she would get over because Jackie destroyed ten years of her life.
Years later, even though Nielsen called Stallone a "horrible husband," she praised him for his writing, directing, and producing skills on "Creed II."
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen at a cocktail party hosted in their honor on February 13, 1986 | Source: Getty Images
In 2018, they had worked together on "Creed II" as Nielsen took on the role of Dolph Lungreen's onscreen wife while reprising her role from "Rocky IV."
Nielsen has starred in other movies "Ferro," "The Hustle," "Voyage: Killing Brigitte Nielsen," "Bye Bye Baby," "Beverly Hills Cop II," among others.
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen arriving at Demi Moore's 30th birthday party in Valencia | Source: Getty Images
THE DEATH OF STALLONE'S MOTHER AND NIELSEN'S REACTIONS
Jackie was also a fitness guru before her death on September 21, 2020. Till she died at 98, she continuously worked out. When she was 92, a video of her pumping iron was released, and it went viral.
Her birth name was Jacqueline Frances Labofish, and she ran away from home at 15 to join the circus. As a successful psychic and astrologer, she invented an alternative to palmistry called "rumpology."
After Jackie's death, Nielsen, who had bonded with her 18 years after her divorce, said she felt emotional as Jackie didn't get to say goodbye but praised Jackie for being extremely strong.
Jackie Stallone at the grand finale of "Celebrity Big Brother III" in London | Source: Getty Images
Nielsen further praised Jackie revealing that Jackie was full of energy and a unique woman. In her post, Nielsen said that they would surely miss Jackie.
Jackie's son Frank had confirmed that she died in her sleep as she had wished. He called her a remarkable woman and reminisced how she was fearless and full of spunk.
Frank, who became very emotional, revealed that even though she was very eccentric and flamboyant, she had lived through prohibition, the depression, and World War II.
NIELSEN AND STALLONE AFTER THEIR DIVORCE
In 2006, Nielsen married for the fifth time when she married Italian TV producer Mattia Dessi in Malta. They had met when he worked as a waiter at her hotel in Switzerland.
Even though her husband is 15 years younger than her, she revealed that he is more mentally mature than her even though they are not physically the same.
The couple who live together in Palm Springs, California, welcomed their first daughter, Frida, on June 23, 2018, while Nielsen was 54.
Before Dessi, she already had four children from previous relationships. Her eldest son Julian Winding was born to her first husband.
Nielsen's second child Killian Marcus was born to her ex-fiancé Mark Gastineau. When she married her fourth husband, Swiss motor racer Raoul Meyer, they had two sons, Douglas Aaron and Raoul Jr Ayrton.
After Stallone and Nielsen's divorce, he had many other relationships before marrying Jennifer Flavin in May 1997. They have three daughters, Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet.
On July 13, 2012, he lost his eldest son, Sage, from his first marriage. Sage, who died from a heart attack, was also an actor, director, and producer.