"They never remarried, but they were recently talking about getting remarried," Erickson, who has previously worked with both Coleman and Price, told the website. "They were waiting for Shannon and Gary's health to get better. In fact, Gary wanted to [wed] two weeks ago." However, Erickson claims, Coleman wanted his 24-year-old ex-wife, who suffers from seizures, "to get better first."
Coleman, best known for his starring role on Diff'rent Strokes, died after suffering a brain hemorrhage at his Utah home. Price was the one who decided to pull Coleman off of life support two days after the hemorrhage. Coleman's former attorney, Randy Kester, told People on Wednesday that the couple had secretly divorced in 2008, but did not know if they planned to remarry.
"Gary signed papers giving Shannon full authorization," Erickson said. "Gary didn't contact his parents at all since he was in the hospital. He hadn't talked to them since he was 17. Even at a critical time, the only one he wanted to be responsible for him medically was [a person] he referred to as his wife, Shannon. Even though they were divorced, it wasn't something that stopped them from being together. It was just a piece of paper to Gary and Shannon."
A spokesman for Coleman's parents, Victor Perillo, told The Associated Press on Thursday that they are seeking custody of their estranged son's remains. A funeral originally planned for this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah has since been canceled.
"She wants what Gary wants," Erickson said of Price. "She has an attorney that is willing to spend every penny to make sure Gary has what he wants."
Erickson did not return TVGuide.com's calls and e-mails for comment. Coleman's former manager, John Alcantar, could not be reached.