A lot of you have wondered why Gary Coleman’s evil ex wife was so eager to get her greedy mitts on his estate, considering that he was broke. We may have the answer from Coleman’s former co-star, Todd Bridges. Bridges revealed to Radar Online that he will personally receive separate monthly pension from the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Unions that are worth $13,000 a month from when he’s 55 up until his death. It’s unclear what amount would go to Gary’s estate or survivors, but Bridges estimates that it would be substantially more than the $156,000 a year he’s entitled to as Gary made about twice as much as he did on Diff’rent Strokes. “[Gary] may have died with no money, but his pension is huge.” He added that “a pension never ends when a person dies. It goes to the next person… in the will” and explained that when a person passes away the estate can get the entire pension at once.
Bridges assures us that Gary’s money will go to charity, but that might not be his choice. His ex manager Dion Mia, who he named in 1999 as the executor, and his ex wife, Shannon Price, are currently battling over control of the late actor’s estate. Fortunately Gary had the sense to divorce Shannon in 2008 and she may have no legal rights despite being named in a 2007 addendum/codicil to the will as his new executor. According to Bridges, Dion is a trustworthy guy and will ensure that Gary’s money is donated as he wished.
Licensing for Gary’s image could be worth millions
E! Online has more on Gary’s worth, and they quote a lawyer who explains that the licensing rights to Gary’s image may be worth a mint. “There may be some value to the rights over his likeness going forward. And his estate will still own that as an asset. This is the entertainment business; that value could be in the millions.” Gary hated his “What’choo talkin’ bout” catchphrase, I remember him grumbling about it on The Surreal Life. If his ex Shannon Price gets hold of his estate, we may be looking at talking Arnold Jackson dolls and Gary’s diminutive avatar as an extra in video games. The rights to Gary’s image, as well as his pension, should provide plenty of motivation for Price to fight to be named the main beneficiary. It also sounds like she had enough reasons to pull the plug on the guy sooner rather than later.
Third will has been uncovered
After I wrote this story and was just about to publish it, Radar reported that a third will has been uncovered that’s more recent than the 1999 will and is not the handwritten codicil naming Price as Gary’s beneficiary. How much do you want to bet the new will just happened to be in Shannon’s possession until it was uncovered? Radar claims that it “was created by a lawyer and it’s substantially different from the 1999 will… [it] should be filed within a couple of weeks at the latest.” What took so long for this new will to come out? Did Shannon have to get help writing it?