Gary Coleman

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Gary Coleman had someone he could rely on besides his live-in ex-wife, Shannon Price, (thankfully).

E! News has learned that Anna Gray, the mystery woman whom the late Diff'rent Strokes star named as a co-executor in a third will that surfaced recently, had shacked up with Coleman in Los Angeles a few years ago.

Gray's mother, Sheila, tells E! News that she has not seen or spoken with her daughter in three years but the last time she did, Anna was not only living with the actor in his Los Angeles home but had become his close confidante as well.

Full scoop after the jump. . .

"I talked to her when she was living there with him," said Sheila. "It must have been three or four years ago. When she called me she was calling me from his house and I called back and I talked with him. She was there at his house. He was a friendly guy."

The elder Gray added that she didn't know exactly how the two became friends but that her daughter was serving as some sort of caretaker for Coleman.

"She said she was working for him," noted Gray. "She said she did some sort of caretaking with him. She was helping him but I don't know exactly what it was with."

Coleman left his entire estate to his mystery pal in a third will, which he purportedly drew up in 2005. While the 34-year-old Gray's whereabouts are currently unknown, she reportedly moved with him to Santaquin, Utah a couple of years later.

However once Gary met Price, her presence irritated his future spouse and Coleman asked Gray to leave. The last listed address for Gray is in Portland, Oregon in 2008.

Coleman's Utah-based attorney, Randy Kester, who is also representing Gray, told E! News Price was the reason that Coleman's relationship with Gray came to an abrupt end, despite them being "good friends and business associates."

Price and Gray "had a little difference of opinon back in '05," the legal eagle said. "In fact, Shannon was kind of the cause of Anna getting out of the picture."

"Contary to what's been reported, they were not lovers, they were good friends and business associates," he added. "My understanding is that Anna saw what was happening between Gary and Shannon, didn't like what she saw, didn't want to be a part of it and withdrew from the relationship so it wouldn't be difficult for Gary because Shannon was making life difficult for both of them."

"She just faded off into the sunset," Kester said.

The fact Coleman listed her as executor of the 2005 will, he noted, shows "that Gary still cared and trusted her."

And Gray is no money-grubber.

"Since 2005 she's never made any moves to try and take property, get any money from Gary, make any claim to royalties or contract rights. She's made no effort to gain monetary benefit out of this," commented the lawyer.  "He knew this was someone he could trust."

Pending a court approving her as executor, Kester said Gray would honor Coleman's will exactly as written, including his wish that he be cremated.

Of course the situation with Coleman's former missus has yet to be clarified.

While the couple was officially divorced, Price, claiming common-law status, filed a petition last week seeking to be appointed special administrator of Gary's assets, citing a secret 2007 handwritten paper that purportedly named her sole beneficiary. That was a codicil to a 1999 will naming Coleman's onetime manager and pal Dion Mial as executor. But Mial's lawyer said the fact Coleman divorced Price meant the '07 supplement was no longer valid.

A hearing on Coleman's estate is scheduled for later today.

Should the court rule in favor of the 2005 will, it would override the '99 will and leave Gray in charge of the late tube star's favorite model train set among other prized possessions.

Meanwhile a funeral has yet to take place and until a final decision is made, Coleman's body remains in cold storage at Utah-based Memorial Mortuaries.


E! Online pays tribute to the former child star in our Gary Coleman: A life in Pictures gallery.

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