While so many kids grow up wanting to be rich and famous, there are definitely downsides to fame. Perhaps the most notable is the lack of privacy, especially when it comes to both romantic relationships and conflicts with fellow celebs. Celebrity feuds have fascinated the public as long stars have existed-- Ryan Murphy even managed to make a successful TV drama about it. While millennials may be familiar with beef between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, there are plenty of juicy fights from decades before. Case in point: the long standing feud between actors Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone.
Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone's contentious relationship began years ago, when the two actors were set to star in 1974's The Lords of Flatbush. Gere was set to play protagonist Chico Tyrell-- a part eventually played by actor Perry King. But Stallone and Gere didn't get off well, with one onset incident resulting in Gere getting fired from the movie.
Sylvester Stallone actually opened up about the Lord of Flatbush drama in an interview with Aint It Cool, revealing that the incident actually involved Richard Gere's lunch, and one particular moment that royally pissed off Sly. As he told it,
While it may seem a bit silly that Richard Gere's departure from the movie was about a mustard stain, it seems it was the principle of it all that really bothered Sylvester Stallone. While Gere would ultimately have a long and prosperous career in Hollywood, it doesn't look like he and Stallone ever made up.
In fact, the feud goes a step further, as some have speculated that Sylvester Stallone may have been responsible for the infamous Richard Gere gerbil rumor.
Richard Gere is best known for his performances in movies like Chicago and Pretty Woman, although he's also had a bizarre and NSFW scandal following him for many years. In both the 1980s and 90s, a rumor swirled around that Gere was rushed into emergency surgery after inserting a living gerbil into his rectum. The rumor indicates that he went to the ER after the creature died in his body, resulting in a team of surgeons removing it. It's a pretty insane rumor that has become so embedded in pop culture that its been referenced in Saturday Night Live and Wes Craven's original Scream.
While rumors have indicated that Sylvester Stallone made up the story, he also probably didn't have much of a reason to start the gerbil rumor. He didn't end up losing his job, so it's not like he had extra reason to be angry with Richard Gere. Still, it's clear that Gere's attitude on the set of The Lords of Flatbush has stuck with the Rocky actor.
While Richard Gere only seldom references the gerbil rumor, there isn't a ton of information regarding his side of the ongoing feud with Sylvester Stallone. He most recently mentioned the gerbil around ten years ago, when explaining why he tries not too read too much press of tabloids. As he told the Village Voice (via Uproxx)
Many have theorized that Sylvester Stallone might have made up this story to ruin the reputation of Richard Gere following their conflict. While Stallone had denied this accusation, the gerbil story has been a cloud around Gere's celebrity for years. In Sly's same conversation about the conflict he said,
Ultimately Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone's feud, much like the gerbil rumor itself, will likely remain a mystery for the foreseeable future. The two actors likely won't be making up anytime soon, but hopefully they can enjoy their own success independent of the decades long scuffle on the set of The Lords of Flatbush.
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