A lawyer for Gary Coleman, Randy Kester, has confirmed that the late "Diff'rent Strokes" actor and Shannon Price were divorced during the time of his death. In fact, he and Shannon split two years ago.
"I can confirm they've been divorced since August 12, 2008," Randy, who handled the divorce, told People. "At the time of Gary's death, they were not married. I have no knowledge if they were ever remarried."
"Gary wanted me to keep their divorce private," the attorney further explained. "But now that it's been made public, I'm compelled to say it's all true."
Back on Friday, May 28, Shannon was at Gary's side at a Utah hospital. She addressed herself to emergency crews and hospital staff as Gary's wife and even later authorized doctors to "pull the plug." Since then, she has been making arrangements for the late actor's funeral.
As the site asked the matter from Shannon's party, Shielia Erickson, a Salt Lake City agent who represents Shannon, claimed she wasn't sure about Gary and Shannon's marital status. "I wish I could clear that up... I'm still waiting to find out myself from Shannon," Shielia said.
Though so, Shielia revealed that Gary and Shannon had been taking care of each other, stating "They needed each other and loved each other. They wanted to work through their problems."
The new shocking fact has led into a question if Shannon had the authority to ultimately give the hospital approval to take Gary off life support, as well as any future decisions, such as funeral arrangements or those concerning his estate.
A spokeswoman for the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where Coleman died, Janet Frank, said, "We're definitely concerned about this and we're looking into what exactly happened here. Shannon certainly portrayed herself as his wife to our staff and doctors. We assumed she was telling the truth."
"We can't comment on specific details in Mr. Coleman's case, but in general, any patient on life support is thoroughly evaluated medically before life support is ended," Janet added.
Meanwhile, Randy explained, "It's possible that Gary gave Shannon the authority in writing at the hospital to make medical decisions for him, but whether he did, I don't know."