Two women launch in bitter courtroom squabble over late child star Gary Coleman’s estate
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Tags: Arnold Jackson, bank, Church Ball, divorce, Divorced Shannon Price, gary coleman, Mitchell Maughan, Ms Price, Social Security
The ex-wife and a former girlfriend of Gary Coleman have become locked in a bitter courtroom squabble over the late child star’s estate.
Shannon Price and Anna Gray have both staked their claim to the pint-sized actor’s assets after he died in August 2010.
Ms Price told a court on Monday that even though the two divorced in 2008, they kept living together and presented themselves to the public as married until his death.
Divorced: Shannon Price, pictured with Coleman on the Today show, told a court that even though the two divorced in 2008, they kept living together and presented themselves to the public as married until his death
The Diff’rent Strokes actor was taken off life support after suffering a head injury in a fall at his home, according to a copy of his death certificate in court records. He was 42.
But Ms Gray, managed Coleman’s affairs for a number of years and was his ex-girlfriend, says Coleman named her a beneficiary and executor of his estate in 2005.
In a heated exchange before a judge, Gray, representing herself, demanded to know why Price took her name off the deed to the couple’s house in Santaquin, Utah.
‘It was y’all’s home and y’all made the payments, but you thought that Gary should be liable for it?’ Gray asked.
Tragic: The ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ actor was taken off life support after suffering a head injury in a fall at his home, according to a copy of his death certificate in court records
Price, 26, said she had to take her name off the deed as a condition of divorce.
Price said she met Colemen on the Utah set of the movie ‘Church Ball’ in 2005. A marriage license says they married on August 28 2007, at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. They divorced less than a year later under a sealed court order.
Coleman became a household name in the late 1970′s for his role as Arnold Jackson in the television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, about two young black brothers adopted by a wealthy white widower in Manhattan.
He became known for his famous catchphrase, ‘What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’
It’s not clear how much Coleman’s estate is worth, but court papers mention a $324,000 house and a pension, among other possible assets. Price said they shared bank accounts, and her lawyers say Gary Coleman listed Price as his wife for Social Security benefits as late as 2010.
Coleman’s parents, Willie and Edmonia Coleman, have asserted no claim on his estate, court papers say.
Price’s lawyer, Mitchell Maughan, said the case is more about future rights to Coleman’s name and brand than assets.
‘He was not a zillionaire,’ Maughan said.
Price said her relationship with Gary Coleman had ups and downs, but ‘we couldn’t be without each other’ even after divorce.