SHORT TAKES : Real Stallone Ready to Step Out

From Times Wire Services

With the fifth, and reportedly final, "Rocky" movie in the can, Sylvester Stallone says maybe now fans can get to know who he really is.

"Rocky's not me. I don't accept all the accolades that Rocky gets," Stallone said in the September issue of Vanity Fair. "The people are responding to the character. When they're cheering, they're cheering for Rocky."

He said his Hollywood image was created mainly by his tough-guy screen characters and divorces, especially his split with actress Brigitte Nielsen. But he said he's not bitter.

"If anybody should have become an alcoholic or a drug addict or a dyed-in-the wool misogynist, it's me," Stallone said. "I've had every opportunity to cop out. I've been publicly humiliated . . . and held up to ridicule. I've never read about a divorce that had as much sexual innuendo as mine did with Brigitte. That was very embarrassing."

"Rocky V," scheduled for release in November, is supposed to be the final episode in the saga of Philadelphia fighter Rocky Balboa's rise to heavyweight champion.

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