*Gary Coleman’s parents spoke with Meredith Vieira on the “Today” show this morning, where they set the record straight regarding their relationship with Gary, his adoption, Gary’s ex-wife Shannon Price and her alleged sale of his deathbed photos.
“We have never pointed a finger at Sharon,” said Willie Coleman, who spent much of the interview on the verge of tears. As for her reported involvement in selling the pictures of Gary on his deathbed, “That was disturbing,” said Sue, adding, “I don’t now if [selling them] was her intentions in the beginning when she took the pictures.”
Though the Colemans don’t have complete closure regarding Gary’s hospitalization and death, Gary’s mother says, “ I can’t say we actually know everything, but I do feel a bit better because we did get a report from the coroner up in Utah that there was no foul play, so that did make us feel better.”
The Colemans said they were completely left out of Gary’s will. When Viera asked them to explain the estrangement, Willie said that he and Sue had done nothing to push Gary away, but that he had been wooed by “outside influence.” Said Sue, of the estrangement, “you know, he wanted to be his own man.”
As for reports, over the years, that the rift was a result of the Colemans taking money from their son, “as far as the money goes, we would never have taken money from him. We weren’t raised that way,” said Sue. “The way we were raised, you don’t do that kind of thing to friends or family.”
Vieira also questioned the Colemans about rumors that Gary hadn’t found out he was adopted until late in life. Willie and Sue denied that point “We told him when he was five years old,” said Willie. According to Sue, Gary, over the years, “did not want to hear about it. He told us not to discuss it.”
Watch full interview below.