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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 09:18 GMT
Stallone sued by staff
sylvester stallone Stallone: Staff allegedly ordered not to look at him

Hollywood hard man Sylvester Stallone is being sued by five of his former cooks and cleaners, who claim they were fired for breaking rules which included not making eye contact with the actor or his mother.

The group were hired as temporary staff in 1995, but say they were dismissed six days into their 15-day contracts. They are seeking $1.5m in damages from the star of the Rocky and Rambo series of films.

The group say Stallone's wife, Jennifer Flavin, told them they could be fired if they looked directly into the actor's eyes, and they should "back out and vanish immediately" when Stallone entered a room at his former Miami estate.

They were also allegedly banned from speaking to Stallone's mother, Jackie - "nor will you let her talk to you" - and from eating or drinking anything from the house.

The suit claims they were required to undergo daily searches, and maids were to check guests' suitcases "to see if they took towels or silverware" when leaving.

Jackie Stallone is said to have given each of the employees a pen and a signed photograph of herself for Christmas. The lawsuit says Jennifer Flavin accused the employees of stealing the items, and fired them for speaking to Ms Stallone.

The workers' lawyer, Ellis Rubin, said: "Sylvester Stallone is no Rocky or Rambo in real life. Here is a man of earnings, probably $1,000 a minute when he works, and millions when he doesn't work. And he beat some housekeepers and cooks out of a small amount of money."

But the Stallones' attorney, Martin Singer, called the claims "purely fictional".

He said: "They were fired for absolute cause; they didn't perform the work as requested. We're confident we will dispose of the lawsuit quickly."

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