*The estranged parents of Gary Coleman are seeking custody of his body and have requested that it be flown to his childhood home in Illinois, his former manager said Thursday.
According to the Associated Press, his former manager and family spokesman Victor Perillo said Sue and Willie Coleman are the legal custodians of his body because he was divorced from his wife, Shannon Price, in 2008.
Coleman died Friday in Utah from a brain hemorrhage at age 42. It was Price who ordered that Coleman be taken off of life support.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Janet Frank said Price was named in an advanced health care directive that allowed her to make health care decisions for Coleman when he couldn’t make them for himself.
“The arrangement we’re working on now is to get Gary back to his next of kin, which is his parents. The funeral home has been notified, the sheriff’s office, we’ve notified them that there is to be no communication on where the body is to go unless its dealt with legally with Gary’s next of kin, and that’s the way it stands right now,” Perillo told The AP in a telephone interview from British Columbia.
Perillo helped launch Coleman’s career from Chicago in about 1977 and worked with him for 15 years.
Coleman is originally from Zion, Ill., a small town about 50 miles north of Chicago near the Wisconsin border. Perillo said Coleman’s parents have discussed having a small, private ceremony and that his body could be returned to Illinois as soon as Friday.
Meanwhile, TMZ obtained an interview with Price filmed the day after Coleman died. She defends her decision to pull the plug on life support because she says she didn’t want Gary to be like Muhammad Ali or Terri Schiavo.
She also blurted out that she’s heard speculation that she caused Gary to fall by pushing him. Price insists she didn’t push Gary — a weird statement, since no one had publicly accused her of that.