The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Estate of "Gentleman Jim" Corbett Sues Stallone over "Rocky" Movies
Originally posted 11/17/2003

Old-timey boxer "Gentleman Jim" Corbett
BAYSIDE, QUEENS - The estate of 19th century boxing champion James John Corbett, known to fight fans worldwide as "Gentleman Jim," has sued actor and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone. The Corbett estate claims that the "Rocky" movie series, in which Stallone starred as an underdog boxer who beat the odds, was based on the 1890s heavyweight and that Stallone stole his life story.

"The parallels are endless," said Corbett's great grand-niece Bridget Kregar. "Uncle Jimmy was an underdog who shocked the world to beat John L. Sullivan for the world title. Rocky Balboa was an underdog who shocked the world to beat Apollo Creed for the world title. Uncle Jimmy went on to do vaudeville and films after he was done boxing. Rocky Balboa went on to do commercials and 'The Muppet Show' in the movie. Stallone is obviously cashing in on our family history."

Stallone's attorneys have called the allegations "baseless and fraudulent," and the actor said in a press conference that "my screenplay for 'Rocky' was an idea out of my own imagination and any similarities to any real boxers, living, dead, or gentlemanly, is purely coincidental. I didn't steal the idea from anyone's life, not Gentleman Jim's, and certainly not Chuck Wepner's."

When reminded that no one had actually brought up Chuck Wepner, Stallone directed the assembled reporters' attention to a funny-looking dog riding a tricycle in the back of the room. When, after two hours of searching, the reporters determined that there had been no dog on a tricycle, Stallone was nowhere to be found.

"We're not out to ruin anyone's life," Corbett's great grand-niece Kregar told reporters -- different ones -- this weekend. "We just want money. Justice! I meant to say 'justice.'"

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