What's Really Going On With Sylvester Stallone's Marriage?

Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin have been married for 25 years — a lifetime in terms of Hollywood romances. People has been covering their relationship since its beginning in the late 1980s, and they also put together a timeline of the pair's notable moments. Stallone and Flavin apparently had a chance encounter, when the model was just 19 and Stallone was in his early 40s. They had a whirlwind romance ... until Stallone unceremoniously dumped her via a letter.

"You can't just write somebody off in a letter after six years," Flavin told People at the time. "It's not like I was going to try to beg him to come back to me or anything. I just wanted to talk." The breakup came in the midst of rumors about infidelity, and Flavin admitted she was able to sleep better post-breakup, when she no longer had to worry about his loyalties.

Once Stallone moved past a paternity scare with one of his mistresses, however, the couple was able to reconcile, with a renewed commitment to each other. As Hollywood Life recounts, Stallone had previously been married two times ... but it was his 1997 wedding to Flavin that would appear to stick. After over two decades of marriage and three daughters, however, it seems as though their relationship is getting a little rocky.

Sylvester Stallone covered up his tattoo of Jennifer Flavin

Pete Davidson may have recently popularized relationship tattoos, but he certainly didn't invent it. Long before Davidson was branding himself with Kim Kardashian's name, Sylvester Stallone was the original playboy. For years, he flaunted a picture of Jennifer Flavin on his bicep, often caught showing it off when his wardrobe didn't allow for a proper display.

His tattoo artist, Mario Barth, made it clear to the New York Daily News that Stallone doesn't take his body ink lightly. "I have not met tattoo historians with the knowledge that he has about the industry," Barth said. He also noted that Stallone had to wait until the "Rocky" franchise had wrapped up before getting inked. Now, his latest piece is paying homage to the films ... but obscuring his wife.

In August, Daily Mail captured exclusive photos showing that Stallone's bicep portrait of Flavin has been completely covered up by a dog. The new image appears to be of Butkus, the bull mastiff that accompanied Rocky Balboa in Stallone's films. The intense visual of replacing his wife with a dog certainly got people talking, and Flavin's latest Instagram activity has only fueled the speculation.

Jennifer Flavin seemed to make a shady Instagram post

In early August, Jennifer Flavin made an Instagram post that left some wondering if the marriage was intact. Posed in a tight hug with her three daughters, Flavin smiled for the camera and wrote a heartfelt caption. "These girls are my priority," it read. "[N]othing else matters. The 4 of us forever." She paired her words with the hashtags "truth," "family," and "forever."

A comment left by one of her daughters also alluded to potential strife. "Strongest woman I know," said Sistine Stallone. Sophia Stallone gave encouragement as well, writing, "You are our rock, cheerleader, and most incredible mom. We are so lucky to have you."

A sweet message between mother and daughters doesn't have to mean anything. However, it's worth noting that Flavin no longer follows her husband on the social media platform. This, combined with the missing tattoo, seems like somewhat of a bad omen.

Sylvester Stallone has denied allegations of marriage trouble

Despite the optics, Sylvester Stallone and his team have thus far denied any marriage trouble. In a statement to Daily Mail, Stallone's publicist explained that the actor was simply trying to "refresh" his wife's portrait, but the artist botched the piece so bad that he was forced to cover it. "The results were unsatisfactory and, unfortunately, unfixable," she explained. 

Just a week before Stallone's new tattoo was revealed, he paid homage to Butkus on his Instagram account. "I TRULY feel for people that have lost their great beloved Pets... !" he wrote. "It is a loss that never fully fades ... it's never quite the same .. Keep Punching Pet lovers." It's clear that the mastiff was on his mind, so perhaps Butkus was the obvious solution when Jennifer Flavin's picture was "botched." 

For his part, Stallone still follows Flavin, and posted a touching tribute to their marriage back in May 2022. "Happy 25th anniversary to my amazing wife," he wrote. "There is not enough words to describe what this incredibly selfless dedicated , patient, woman has meant to our lives and I only wish there could be another 25!"