It's like the American dream just crashed and burned.
By Nicolette Burke
February 20, 2007 01:00am
THE luxury hotel room of Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone was raided by Customs officials yesterday as members of his entourage were seen throwing items out of the window.
The private jet of the 60-year-old film star was then searched on the tarmac. Stallone did not leave the country until three hours after the search.
The actor had originally been stopped by Customs officers on Saturday night after "prohibited" substances - believed to be a type of human growth hormone - were found in luggage at Sydney airport.
The investigation was stepped up last night after the visit to his Sydney hotel room at 3pm (AEDT) yielded further evidence relating to the investigation over the importation of illegal substances.
Yesterday, a senior Customs source said the investigation was fast-tracked after occupants of Stallone's room at the five-star Park Hyatt Hotel were seen throwing items out of the window.
Customs officials had visited the Hollywood megastar to issue him with a summons to answer charges on the prohibited substances, which would have required a court appearance by him or his legal representative at a later date. Customs confirmed that Stallone would be allowed to leave the country as scheduled at 6pm.
"There is a range of options we can pursue in these circumstances," a spokesperson said.
"The investigation is ongoing and we are aware of Mr Stallone's travel movements.
"The material has to be identified and we have to look at all the options and the evidence before deciding what action to take."
Items were first detected during a routine X-ray of luggage when the actor arrived in Sydney on Friday.
He had been due to attend the Sydney premiere of the latest Rocky movie but was delayed after two hours of questioning.
Stallone said on Sunday that claims he had imported steroids were "totally hot air".
"I do know (why I was stopped) but I can't tell you," he said. "To (Customs) it's major, but it's really minor stuff.
"I just made a mistake ... I misunderstood a few things and we are going through the process."
When asked if he was having further discussions with Customs, he replied: "Oh, I'm sure."
He had previously joked that he was detained after Customs seized "a giant cheetah" and joked they had found his wife in his luggage.
It was rumoured Stallone may have been carrying bodybuilding drugs, banned in Australia.
Customs has not revealed what was seized in the initial search of the luggage, however tests are still continuing to determine the content of the substance found.