LATEST: Sylvester Stallone has defended his failure to rescue choking actress Ellen Barkin in an Los Angeles restaurant earlier this month (MAR06) - insisting he didn't realise she was in trouble. The BIG EASY star almost died from suffocation at the posh Sunset Tower Hotel's Tower Bar, when Hollywood agent KEVIN HUVANE saved her with the Heimlich manoeuvre. But the action hero insists he was unaware of the desperate situation. He says, "I had no idea Ellen was in the restaurant. If she was coughing or dying, she was doing it politely. I would have been more than happy to reach down her throat or squeeze her hard. "Sat there dumbfounded? Please! I would have rallied round - just to avoid paying the bill."