The estranged parents of late Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman believe their son’s 1999 will and testament is the last valid record of his wishes.
In an statement released to RadarOnline.com Tuesday, Sue and Willie Coleman said they’re “seeking to end controversy” in the battle of the wills between Dion Mial and the actor’s ex-wife Shannon Price.
A Utah attorney representing Mial, the executor of the actor’s estate, has one dating from 1999. It is close to being filed in a Utah court.
Both Mial and attorney Kent Alderman insist the 1999 document trumps a handwritten 2007 codicil that lists Shannon Price, who was then still married to Coleman, as the sole beneficiary.
“There seems to be a notion that Gary’s mom and dad have given up their fight for Gary’s remains and his estate,” the Coleman parent’s attorney Frederick Jackman told RadarOnline.com.
“This is incorrect. There was no fight.
“When they were made aware of the controversy in Utah, the lack of funds to care for Gary and the divorce from Shannon, they took the proper legal steps.
“They are, as they always have been, his family and they were the only ones that had the legal power to deal with his remains.
“When a will was found, assuming it was valid as it appears to be, then that also legally dealt with the issue.”
Coleman died May 28 in Utah from a brain hemorrhage at age 42.
Sue and Willie Coleman had been seeking to take custody of their son’s body and return it to his boyhood home in Illinois once it was discovered that he had divorced wife Price in 2008.
It was Price — who was named in an advanced health care directive — who ordered that Coleman be taken off of life support.
His parents have said they learned about his hospitalization and death from the media and they had wanted to reconcile with their son before his death.
“They have suffered in silence for years regarding the stories told about them and their relationship with their son,” Jackman added.
“They would like to now be left alone to grieve in private.
“They are thankful for all the positive concern and love that was felt by many for their son. They are saddened by the ongoing interest in Gary’s past personal struggles and wish, that now that he is gone, those could be laid to rest as well.”