Gary Coleman’s adoptive parents Sue and Willie Coleman opened up on Friday morning regarding the eerie phone call they received from his ex-wife Shannon Price and their thoughts on the photos she took of their son’s death bed.
Willie said that Shannon left a bizarre message on their voicemail when she finally returned their call a couple of days after they phoned about reports Gary had passed away. “[It was] the most strangest message I have heard in my life,” Willie told Meredith Vieira on The Today Show. He described the message: “‘Oh, hi, this is Shannon Price. Thank you for your inquiries… If you need more information my brother is handling the arrangements.’ She left this number for us to call her brother.”
Sue later addressed the controversy over the photos of Gary on his death bed, which many allege Shannon took for selfish reasons and sold to the highest bidder.
“That was disturbing,” Sue said. “I don’t know if that were her intentions in the beginning. I don’t know if she was taking them for her own purpose and then later decided to do the sale of them.”
Having been estranged from their son for years, Sue and Willie once again addressed allegations that they took millions of Gary’s money and mishandled his funds.
“As far as the money goes, we would never have taken money from him,” Sue said. “We weren’t raised that way. The way we were raised, you just don’t do that to anybody…you just don’t treat family that way.” Willie claimed that Gary was being influenced by “outside interferers” who led him astray.
Sue was also adamant about debunking rumors that they hid Gary’s adoption from him until he was basically an adult. “He was told. He didn’t want to deal with it. And he asked us to please not discuss it. In later years when we were seeing the psychiatrist, it came up again…he never came up to us and ask why, what, who or why.” Willie said the couple told Gary about his adoption when he was five years old.
“He’s been in my house since he was 4 days old. We loved him, we cared for him,” a teary-eyed Willie said.