Gary Coleman’s adoptive parents were on The Today Show this morning, and they seemed like such nice, normal people, especially in comparison to the cold evil bitch that was living with Gary when he had that “accident” that resulted in his death. Sue and Willie Coleman haven’t seen their son Gary in over 20 years, but you could tell they loved him and to me they seemed genuinely upset that he was gone.
The Colemans explained that they heard that their son Gary had an accident well before Shannon Price called them about it. A few days later she left them a rude, detached message in which she said “Thank you for your interest… my brother is handling the arrangements.” In their Today Show interview, they tentatively discussed the rumors that Shannon had a hand in their son’s death, saying they weren’t pointing fingers, and called the deathbed photos “disturbing.” Gary’s mom gave Shannon the benefit of the doubt, though, and said she didn’t know if the photos were taken with the intention of selling them. The two also denied the story that they’d stolen Gary’s earnings as a child. We’ll have more on that in a moment. Here’s E! Online’s recap, with more at the source.
The Colemans, who adopted Gary when he was just four days old, said they heard about his son’s initial fall and hospitalization while visiting family in Arkansas. They were never contacted by Shannon or anyone connected with their son and after some serious researching—Sue phoned up the Provo Sheriff’s Department to ask them to get Price to phone them with news—they finally received a message. Albeit not for several days.
“She called and left a message—the strangest message I have heard in my life,” Willie said. “When someone is hurting like we were at that time, to leave a message like, ‘Listen, OK, hi, this is Shannon Price. Thanks for your interest. If you need more information, my brother is handling the arrangements.’”
And while fingers were almost instantly pointed at Price for any number of issues connected to his death—his initial fall, the deathbed photos, the battle for his remains—the Colemans have not and will not lob any such accusations. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for answers.
“The first information we got was that there was an accident, 911 was called and he was taken to the hospital,” Sue said. “We want to know what kind of an accident.
“I can’t say we actually know everything [now], but I do feel a bit better because we got a report from the coroner that said there was no foul play, so that did make us feel a lot better.”
As for those deathbed photos, like the rest of humanity, the Colemans thought them absolutely abhorrent.
“That was disturbing. I don’t know if that was her intentions in the beginning when she was taking those pictures,” Sue said, going on to say that she hoped profit wasn’t at the forefront of Price’s mind when she first posed for the camera.
However, the Colemans also note that they don’t blame Price for his death because, whether he was with or not (and incidentally, they were thrilled when the duo tied the knot since it meant Gary would have a “companion” and “not be alone”), his death was in some ways, inevitable.
“His body had come to the point when it had reached the epitome of his sickness,” Willie said. “He was on dialysis. Eventually that was gonna lead to a shutdown…We’re not pointing fingers.”
As for why their relationship deteriorated—while there have been brief interludes of contact, most recently at the start of the decade, they have been estranged for several decades—that’s one area where the Colemans are pointing fingers.
“Outside interference,” Willie said. “Influence.”
Both parents dismissed the notion that his adoption was kept secret or a source of tension, at least on their side, saying that they told Gary when he was five years old that he was adopted.
“He was told, he did not want to deal with it and he asked us to please not discuss it,” Sue said. “And we didn’t.”
She said Gary regularly saw a psychiatrist, and they brought it up during a session, though were once again shot down. “He never ever came to us and said ‘Why, how, who,’ anything. If he had, we would definitely have tried.”
Incidentally, it’s when Gary’s so-called confidantes took over the responsibility of taking Gary to therapy (or not, as the case may be) that “this whole thing blew out of proportion.”
“All of this is nonsense, all of this is untrue. Everything that’s been said about us is untrue.”
Of the lawsuit Gary filed against his parents, accusing them of stealing millions from him, the Colemans have always denied the accusations yet never held his actions against him.
“I don’t know, he wanted to be his own man,” Sue said. “As far as the money goes, we would never have taken money from him. We weren’t raised that way.”
The Colemans, who kept a room in their house for Gary throughout their estrangement in the hopes that he would one day return or have a change of heart, also addressed Bridges’ recent comments that “there was a reason” for the decades-long estrangement.
“I don’t know what Todd’s perception of us is and at this point it really doesn’t matter,” Sue said. “As far as the document goes, I have no idea what that is. As far as I know, the two of them didn’t have any close communication for years there. It seems that just since—
“The book…,” Willie interjected, referring to Bridges’ new memoir, and the publicity he’s since gained from inserting himself into the story.
“Since [Gary] has passed on, that this relationship has seemed to be closer,” Sue finished.
And while everyone else seems to be fighting to insert themselves into Coleman’s inheritance, don’t expect his parents to enter the fray. Asked directly if they had any plans to fight the will, Sue responded:
“Not at all, not at all. Why would we? There’s enough going on. There’s enough disrespect toward him with all this going on, we would not be a part of that.”
[From E! Online]
The truth expert at Eyes for Lies reviewed this video of the Colemans, and she’s not convinced that they didn’t steal Gary’s money, as he sued them for back in 1989. She writes that they’re playing innocent and that “I suspect these two have convinced themselves that they didn’t ”steal’ anything from their son. People who do things that are questionable often have selective memories or go into denial, because, after all, who wants to remember ‘their ugly’?
I believe Gary had valid reasons for cutting off his parents for 20 years. He felt so strongly he left them out of his will entirely and specifically.” (Eyes has more on this story and why she’s not buying their excuses.)
Poor Gary. He had parents who stole his money, but they still seem like they cared way more about him than the wife who sold his deathbed pictures and wants to get ahold of his pension. He was taken advantage of his entire life. Even the friend who is speaking out on his behalf has a book to sell, although if anyone seems like they’re telling the truth in this scenario, it’s Todd Bridges.