3:47 AM EDT, August 29, 2012
Tragedy struck Sylvester Stallone’s grieving family for the second time in two months Sunday with the death of the actor’s half-sister from cancer.
Toni Ann Filiti, 48, passed away Sunday morning at her mother’s residence in Santa Monica, Calif., just six weeks after the “Rocky” star’s 36-year-old son Sage Moonblood Stallone was found lifeless in his Los Angeles home.
“I was holding her in my arms. I had just washed [her] face and told her how pretty she looked, and she just fell asleep,” matriarch Jackie Stallone, 90, said of her daughter’s death from lung cancer that traveled to her brain.
“She’s too young to go, but she wasn’t feeling any pain,” the devastated mom told the Daily News. “What a terrible month. First Sage and now Toni. It’s hard. At least they’re together now in heaven.”
She said her daughter was on heavy pain medication but had her eyes open earlier in the day.
“I was talking to her about renting a place in Paris where we would go so she could get better. I believe in miracles. But my husband is a doctor and said she was dying,” she recalled. “A little while later he said she was gone. I stayed with her a couple hours on the bed.”
Filiti had been in a local hospital recently but moved home for her final days.
Jackie Stallone said she spoke to her world-famous son Sunday to deliver the sad news.
“He said he can’t take any more pain,” she told The News. “He said he’ll always be there for her son.”
It was July 13 that authorities confirmed Sage Stallone died inside his Studio City, Calif., residence with pill bottles nearby and no signs of foul play.
The final cause of death is pending toxicology tests.
“This agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives,” Sly said in a statement at the time. “Sage was our first child and the center of our universe.”
During recent promotion of his new movie “The Expendables 2,” the action hero, 66, called his son's death “very tough” but “a reality of life.”