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Did Sylvester Stallone start that bizarre urban myth about Richard Gere and a gerbil?

The “Rocky” star says Gere thinks he does. As Stallone tells it, he and Gere had a falling-out on the set of the 1974 flick “The Lords of Flatbush.”

According to Stallone, Gere was supposed to have the role played by Perry King, but he and Gere “never hit it off” and Rocky got so mad at Gere that he elbowed him in the head over a greasy chicken.

“[Gere] would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table,” Stallone told

He says that one time during a fight scene things got a little too real, and at another point, things got physical during a lunch when Stallone went into a Toyota to eat lunch.

“I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper," said Stallone. “I said, ‘That thing is going to drip all over the place.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I said, ‘If it gets on my pants you’re gonna know about it.’ He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay.”

Gere’s spokesman wasn’t available for comment, but according to Stallone: “Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true, but that’s the rumor.”

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