In his first interview since the death of his ex son-in-law Gary Coleman, Dale Price is speaking out exclusively to RadarOnline.com about how his family has been coping with the loss and the media attention that has swarmed around them.
“It’s been difficult. I don’t think there’s words that really describe how painful this whole experience has been. A lot of it has been seeing what [Shannon] has had to go through,” Dale told RadarOnline.com. “We considered Gary to be a big part of our family. He was a huge part of our family and so when we lost him it was like we lost our family member. To see Shannon what she’s had to go through. She’s been suffering with some ill health as well, and this hit her very hard.”
Although he did not go into detail about Shannon’s medical condition, her family and friends have provided a helping hand since she was recently forced out of her home.
“Right now I think a lot of it is just stress and some of the things that she’s had to go through…She’s just had to go through a whole lot right now and it’s been extremely difficult for her to cope with a lot of the stuff that’s been going on,” Dale told RadarOnline.com.
“We have been there to support her all the way. At one point she was staying with one of her brothers. Now she’s moved in with a family friend. And we’ve been in touch with her. I try to see her everyday. If I don’t get to see her very often we text quite a bit, we talk quite a bit on the phone, we’ve been there for her. We’ve been trying to keep her spirits high, trying to keep her going, we know how difficult it’s been for her. We’ve just tried to be positive and just do what we can to be there to help her out.”
Despite their ups and downs over the years, Dale has also been just as emotional about the loss.
“My relationship with Gary has been very close. He told Shannon one time that if he had a best friend that I would be that friend,” he said tearing up. “And then she told me a few weeks ago that Gary told her that here in Utah I was the person he was closest to the most. And Shannon told me a few weeks ago, ‘Dad, Gary has told me time and again that how much he trusted you and’ if he ever wanted anything done that I was the person that he would talk to because he trusted me so much.
“Gary’s failing health in the last two or three years- I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with him and Shannon,” he added. “It’s been a good relationship. I can honestly say that we have not always seen eye to eye on situations, we’ve had disagreements, but at the end of the day I think we’ve had a mutual respect for each other and we’ve been able to put our differences behind us and we’ve moved on.
Dale was there to see the couple’s final moments together.
“It was touching. It was difficult to see it happen,” he said choking up. “It was hard as a father to have to see my daughter go through that. Like I said, I’m not going to get into great detail about it. It was touching, it was tender. For all the negative things that have been said about Shannon out there I wished we would have been able to show people what really happened at that time.”
Shannon is in a bitter battle over Gary’s will and has been slammed for profiting off his death. But Dale chooses to focus on helping his daughter heal and stay positive.
“The difficult thing for me right now is seeing what Shannon’s had to go through,” he said. “As a family there’s a process where you mourn for awhile and you go on to the healing process. And we haven’t been able to hit that stage yet.”