Paul NBC/AP Images
Paul NBC/AP Images
After getting ripped off of his TV earnings as a child, Gary Coleman understandably had a hard time trusting people. So much so that as part of his final wishes, he only wanted people who weren't after his money at his funeral.
Per documents filed today in the 4th District Court in Provo, Utah, the former Diff'rent Strokes star left a will written in 1999 that expressed his desire to have his body cremated. It also appointed onetime manager Dion Mial as the executor of his estate.
Now comes the interesting part...
Coleman asked that his representative "plan a wake for me conducted by those who have had no financial ties to me and can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally for Gary Coleman."
Guess that rules out parents Sue and Willie Coleman, whom he sued in 1989 for misappropriating all the dough he earned during his sitcom days and whom he has been estranged from these past 20 years.
In the papers, Coleman stipulated that the entirety of his assets be given "to the Trustee of the Millennium Edge Trust."
No further details about the trust were disclosed (Mial is believed to be the lone trustee), nor is it known whether this is the "secret will" former costar Todd Bridges was talking about last week.
What about live-in ex-wife Shannon Price?
Since the will was put together eight years before they tied the knot in 1997, Coleman bequeathed her nothing. However, a rep for Price said her attorney might file a claim seeking to be named an heir. According to state probate rules, she has 10 days to do so.
If it is up to Mial to send out invites to the funeral, we won't be surprised if Price doesn't make the cut.
After initially denying it, Price's spokeswoman confirmed that Price did indeed take pictures of Coleman in the hosptial both before and after his May 28 death from a brain hemorrhage following an accidental fall. According to one report, some of the photos have been sold to a tabloid, but Price's rep says the pictures were "were never meant to get out."
But Bridges, for one, isn't buying it.
"How can you be so selfish," he said today in an interview with RadarOnline. "I would never be that mad at somebody to ever do something so dreadful and horrible to them. Are you angry at him? Are you that mad at him that you would do this to him?
"It sounds a little hokey to me," he continued. "That's insane, I couldn't even imagine doing that. Poor Gary has no idea what's going on in his life, he has no idea that this is happening to him because he's not here to fight back."
A funeral for the 42-year-old Coleman had been set to take place last weekend but was postponed as the various survivors jockeyed for control of his estate. No word yet when it will happen.
(Originally published June 8, 2010, at 1:48 p.m. PT)