Speaking out. Molly Shannon accused the late Gary Coleman of sexually harassing her during a meeting when she was younger.
The 57-year-old graduate of the Saturday Night Live program spoke in detail about the alleged meeting on Tuesday, April 12, in an interview on the Howard Stern show. The comedian recently signed a contract with the sitcom star’s agent, and at some point she was given the chance to meet Coleman, who died in May 2010 at the age of 42.
“I think he said, ‘Sit down [on the bed].’ It was very nice,” she said on Tuesday. “And then he kind of tickles me a little bit. This and that.”
The Superstar actress said she was “trying to be polite” to the Diff’rent Strokes graduate, but he didn’t notice her concern.
“He was relentless,” she claimed. “Then he kind of tried to kiss me and climb up, and I was like, “No, Gary. Stop.” So I push him away. Then I would get out of bed. Then he would bounce up and down on the bed. Jump, jump, jump. And give me a hug. Then I would have thrown him away. And then he was on top of me. I think because of his size, I didn’t feel physically threatened. But… it went on and on. Repetition. I would have dropped him, he would have come back.”
The Wet Hot American Summer star also described the alleged incident in her new memoir Hello, Molly!, which went on sale on Tuesday. The Ohio native claimed that in the end she managed to “throw off” Coleman.
“He grabbed my leg, and it was like I was [trying] to throw him off,” she said. “And then I go to lock myself in the bathroom, and then he puts his hands under the door. And he’s like, “I see you.”
At this point, Shannon said she left the room and told the agent that he should “keep an eye” on Coleman more closely. “I wish I could stand up for myself more,” she added.
Before his death in 2010, the former child star suffered from several health problems. A lifelong kidney disease delayed his growth, resulting in him becoming an adult 4 feet 8 inches tall. During his life, he had several unsuccessful kidney transplants, and later he claimed that he had tried to commit suicide twice.
Coleman died after a fall at home and the formation of an epidural hematoma. He was hospitalized after the incident, but his condition worsened and he died two days later.