Coleman’s Wife Defends Her Life-and-death Decision

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June 3, 2010 | 10:10pm EST

Gary Coleman’s ex-wife chose to turn off the star’s life support system because she was convinced he would have ended up like ailing boxing legend Muhammad Ali if he had survived his brain haemorrhage.
Officials at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center found themselves at the center of controversy this week after it was revealed Shannon Price had claimed she was still married to the Diff’rent Strokes actor when she gave doctors permission to switch off the machine keeping him alive.
It was soon revealed that the couple had divorced in 2008, although they continued to live together in Coleman’s Utah home.
Bosses at the hospital investigated the scandal and ruled that Coleman had signed an Advanced Health Care Directive, granting Price permission to make the life-and-death decision.
Now Price has spoken out to defend her controversial choice, insisting her former partner would have “bled to death” if he had undergone brain surgery or become like Parkinson’s Disease sufferer Muhammad Ali, had he survived.
In a video interview obtained by, she explains, “The doctors told us that even if they had done surgery on him, he would’ve died. He would’ve bled to death during the surgery. Even if they did take a chunk out of his brain, he would not be the same. He’d basically be like Muhammad Ali… I mean, Gary was gone.
“I don’t want people to be so hard on me thinking I had to pull the plug too early. He wouldn’t have made it anyway. His heart would’ve just given out. I don’t want people to sit there and think I’m a b**ch, and that I didn’t care about him.”
Price also addresses speculation she was to blame for the fall that led to Coleman’s brain haemorrhage. She adds, “A lot of people sit there and say, yeah, she pushed him. People are so cruel, they don’t even know. I was upstairs, he was downstairs. How am I going to push him? Why would I want to hurt my husband, are you kidding?”