The estranged parents of former child TV star Gary Coleman are seeking custody of his body and want it returned to the star's boyhood home in Illinois, his former manager said yesterday.
Coleman died Friday in Utah from a brain hemorrhage at age 42.
His former manager and family spokesman Victor Perillo said Coleman's parents, Sue and Wille Coleman, are the legal custodians of his body because Coleman was divorced from his wife, Shannon Price, in 2008.
It was Price who ordered that Gary Coleman be taken off life support, The Associated Press reports.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Janet Frank said Price was named in an advanced health care directive that allowed her to make health care decisions for Gary Coleman when he couldn't make them for himself.
His parents have said they learned about his hospitalization and death from media reports and that they had wanted to reconcile with their son before his death.
In 1989, when Gary Coleman was 21, his mother filed a court request trying to gain control of her son's $6 million fortune, saying he was incapable of handling his affairs.
The move "obviously stems from her frustration at not being able to control my life," he said.
Perillo helped launch Gary Coleman's career from Chicago around 1977 and worked with him for 15 years.
Gary Coleman is originally from Zion, Ill., a small town about 50 miles north of Chicago near the Wisconsin border. Perillo said his parents have discussed having a small, private ceremony and that his body could be returned to Illinois as soon as Friday.
"The arrangement we're working on now is to get Gary back to his next of kin, which is his parents. The funeral home has been notified, the sheriff's office, we've notified them that there is to be no communication on where the body is to go unless its dealt with legally with Gary's next of kin, and that's the way it stands right now," Perillo told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from British Columbia.