Shannon Price, the 24-year-old ex-wife of the late Gary Coleman, said she took Coleman off life support because she didn’t want to leave him in a vegetative state, she explained in a video interview released Thursday by TMZ.com. Coleman died May 28 from a brain hemorrhage after falling at his Utah home. “The doctors told us that even if they had done surgery on him, he would’ve bled to death during the surgery,” Price said in the interview. “And they said that even if they did take a chunk out of his brain, he would not be the same. He’d be basically like Muhammad Ali.” Although Coleman’s lawyer revealed Wednesday that Coleman and Price were divorced at the time of the Diff’rent Strokes actor’s death, Coleman had signed an advanced health care directive giving Price permission to make any medical decision on his behalf, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Coleman’s parents are now seeking custody of his body and want it returned to the star’s boyhood home in Zion, Ill., the AP reports. According to Coleman’s former manager, Victor Perillo, Coleman’s parents are the “legal custodians” of the actor’s body. “The arrangement we’re working on now is to get Gary back to his next of kin, which is his parents,” Perillo told the AP. Perillo also said that Coleman’s parents have discussed having a small, private ceremony for their son.