Sylvester Stallone pleads guilty
( femalefirst.co.uk ) - Sylvester Stallone has pleaded guilty to bringing a banned performance enhancement drug into Australia. Lawyers for the 'Rocky Balboa' star - who has been charged with importing the human growth hormone product Jintropin - entered the guilty plea before Sydney's Darling Center Local Court yesterday (14.05.07). The 60-year-old actor - who was not present for the hearing - apologised for his actions in a letter. He said: "I made a terrible mistake, not because I was attempting to deceive anyone but I was simply ignorant to your official rules.
"I feel terrible that my breach of the rules has set a poor example to members of the public, whose opinion I cherish dearly."
Stallone's lawyer, Phillip Boulten, said his client had been prescribed the hormones for medical reasons and had been taking them under medical supervision for six years. He said: "This is not some back-alley body builder dealing covertly with some banned substance in some sort of secret way. This was a legitimate medical condition being treated by doctors of the top ranking order in the west coast of the US."
Stallone and his entourage were stopped at Sydney airport on February 16 when they flew in to promote his latest film 'Rocky Balboa'. Jintropin cannot be imported to Australia without a permit from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Custom officials searched the actor's Sydney hotel room and private jet on February 19. Before officials arrived, Stallone is known to have thrown four of the vials out of his hotel room window.
Stallone will be sentenced next Monday (21.05.07). The maximum penalty for bringing Jintropin into Australia without a licence is a fine of $90,000 and five years in prison. The Hollywood heavyweight is unlikely to face the maximum penalty, as the matter is being heard by a local, not federal, court, but could receive a fine of up to $18,000.