The saga surrounding the tragic death of Gary Coleman continues to become more bizarre by the day, with two former loves now locking horns over him.
Coleman’s former wife Shannon Price, who he divorced in 2008 but still lived with, has called the shots (and sold the Gary Coleman death photos) so far.
But a new will surfacing that allegedly names Anna Gray, the star’s close friend and former girlfriend, as executor and sole beneficiary, Price may be SOL.
Gray, of Portland, Ore., filed a 2005 will last Friday in a Utah court stating Coleman left Gray the bulk of his estate. Said her attorney, Randy Kester:
“Anna just wants to carry out Gary’s wishes. Her will is the most objective reflection of what Gary wanted. We’re going to be in this for the long haul.”
Gary Coleman with Anna Gray (left) and Shannon Price.
Gray was a business associate of the actor’s for about eight years before living with him briefly in Utah, and her will bumps Dion Mial out of the picture.
Mial, Coleman’s former business manager, had filed a now-outdated copy of the actor’s will naming him as the executor, but that’s a moot point now.
Price claims she was Gary’s common law wife and sole heir according to what she says is his handwritten 2007 will, written a week after they wed.
Kester says ask a judge to issue an immediate restraining order against Shannon Price, who is “invading Gary’s home and disposing of his property.”
“She has no right to his things.” The lawyer notes that he and Gray would not object to Price removing her own personal items, but this is different.
“But she has taken all his personal papers, evidence and other belongings. That is completely disrespectful and a further indication of her objectives.”
Price’s attorney, Mitchell Maughan, counters that “Nothing ever changed between Shannon and Gary,” and that “They lived as husband and wife.”
“For now, this is about who should care for Gary’s remains. Beyond that, there isn’t much to fight over in his estate, there wasn’t much financially.”
In both Price and Gray’s will, he requested to be cremated and that no funeral be held. Cremation is expected to take place in the next few days.
But a Utah judge ruled Monday that Anna Gray will be allowed 48 hours to view Coleman’s body before that. A third party will oversee his affairs.
A trial to determine if Price was indeed Coleman’s common law wife – and therefore possibly in charge of his remains – is expected to take months.
“Shannon’s doing well, but it’s obviously hard for her as his wife to have people from his past coming out of the woodwork,” Maughan says.
“Gary wanted to distance himself from all his past managers and the media, so this is upsetting to her, as it would be for anyone in her position.”
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Anna Gray, Shannon Price Battle Over Gary Coleman