Molly Shannon Says She Was Sexually Harassed by Gary Coleman

In a new interview with Howard Stern, Hello, Molly! author Molly Shannon said a “relentless” Gary Coleman pursued her in a hotel room. Keep reading to find out more.

By Mike Vulpo Apr 14, 2022 5:55 PMTags

Molly Shannon is sharing her memories of an upsetting encounter with the late child star Gary Coleman.
The actress appeared on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show where she was asked about meeting the Diff'rent Strokes star. She wrote about the alleged incident in her new memoir, Hello, Molly!
According to Shannon, Coleman invited her to his hotel's presidential suite where things got uncomfortable.
"I think he was like, 'Sit down [on the bed].' It was very sweet," she told Howard Stern on April 12. "And then he's, like, tickling me a little. This and that."
"I was trying to be polite," Shannon continued. "I'm a polite Catholic girl and a virgin. I'm naïve about anything about that." But as the night progressed, Shannon said Coleman became "relentless" in trying to pursue her.

"He was like trying to kiss me and get on top and I was like, 'No, Gary. Stop.' So, I push him off. Then, I would get off the bed. Then, he would bounce on the bed. Jump, jump, jump. And wrap himself around me," Shannon alleged. "Then, I would fling him off. And then he got on top of me."

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While Shannon said she didn't feel physically threatened by Coleman, she did lock herself in the bathroom at one point. Once inside, she said Coleman stuck his hands under the door and said, "I can see you."

Shannon said she eventually "sprinted out" of the hotel room. 

As for what impressed Shannon about Coleman initially, the actress said she was up and coming in Hollywood and wanted to meet one of the biggest stars in the industry.

"He had his suit on," she said. "He told me I reminded him of Kimberly from Diff'rent Strokes and I was like, 'Yes! If I could only be on Diff'rent Strokes.'"

E! News has reached out to Coleman's team for comment and hasn't heard back.

The actor passed away in 2010 at the age of 42 just days after suffering a head injury in a fall down the stairs at his home in Utah.
When recounting the story, Shannon shared a regret about the experience: "I wish I could have stood up for myself more." 

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