Todd Bridges is claiming that Gary Coleman, his “Diff’rent Strokes” co-star, had a secret will at the time of his death that involves the exclusion of his parents.
Coleman, who passed away Friday after suffering a brain hemorrhage, has been estranged from his parents, Sue and Willie Coleman, since a 1989 court battle over his finances. The former child star successfully sued his parents and former manager for misappropriating his $3.8 million trust fund and, in 1993, he was awarded $1.28 million.
Although they are expected to attend his funeral in Utah this weekend, Bridges reveals there is an ongoing dispute with Coleman’s parents over the star’s final will.
He tells ETOnline.com, “(A friend of mine and I) have paperwork, and we’ll bring it out soon, that will show what his wishes were and what he wanted. There’s a big fight going on with his parents and some other people involved, and after we bring this paperwork out, everybody’s going to shut up.
“Gary had certain wishes (excluding his parents). I’m not going to go against a dying man’s wishes… There’s a reason why he didn’t speak to them for 23 years.”
Bridges also opens up about Coleman’s other personal problems, including health issues stemming from congenital kidney disease, which impacted his adult life.
He adds, “Imagine having major health problems. Imagine getting ripped off of all your money. Imagine being raised in a household where he wasn’t taught how to love himself or to love others around him. So when he hit the world at an adult age, he wasn’t prepared. Physically, he wasn’t in great shape. He had a valve replaced, and people didn’t know that.”
Bridges’ interview comes after it was revealed by doctors that Shannon Price, who claimed she was Coleman’s wife and gave medics permission to turn off his life support system, was divorced from the actor.
It has since been revealed by officials at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center that Coleman, who was 42, had given his former wife the right to make medical decisions for him. A rep tells ETOnline, “Mr. Coleman had completed an Advanced Health Care Directive that granted Shannon Price permission to make medical decisions on his behalf if he was unable to do so.”