“Diff’rent Strokes” actor Gary Coleman died in 2010 at the age of 42. It was at first assumed he died leaving little or nothing of any value. But two years later, two women are still fighting to get control of his estate.
In a court in Provo,Utah, Coleman’s ex-wife, Shannon Price, asked a judge for control of Coleman’s estate. However, there are complications preventing that at the moment.
For one thing, the pair got divorced in 2008. She is an “ex-wife,” despite the fact they still lived together. For another, in 2005,Gary named another woman, his ex-girlfriend Anna Gray, as the beneficiary of his estate in 2005.
So, if Coleman died almost broke, having had to auction off a pair of his pants on eBay to help pay his medical bills, then what are the women fighting about?
The answer is intellectual property: book rights, movie rights, and Coleman’s likeness.
Gray’s then-attorney told ABC News several years ago, “It’s a survivor death benefit that Ms. Price has already grabbed, potential book deals and movie rights. His present assets pale significantly in comparison to what may be garnered. It could potentially be millions.”
Gray is currently representing herself in court at as the case began yesterday. It may be concluded as early as today. The judge’s decision will likely hinge on “whether Coleman and his former spouse, Shannon Price, continued living as husband and wife even after their 2008 divorce until Coleman’s death onMay 28, 2010.”
Price contends that even though Gray was named as beneficiary, Coleman signed an amendment that awarded Price his assets. But the amendment may not be valid given that Coleman and Price were technically divorced.