Sheila Erickson, an agent who worked with both Gary Coleman and his ex-wife Shannon Price, tells UsMagazine.com the two planned to get married again.
After divorcing in 2008, "They never remarried, but they were recently talking about getting remarried," Erickson tells Us. "They were waiting for Shannon and Gary’s health to get better. In fact, Gary wanted to [wed] two weeks ago." But she says he wanted Price, 24, who suffers from seizures, "to get better first."
The two were so close, adds Erickson, that Coleman had given Price written permission to make medical decisions on his behalf.
"Gary signed papers giving Shannon full authorization," she says. "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."
She said they split because they realized that they "jumped into something too soon."
Now, a week after Coleman died from intracranial bleeding at age 42, Price is heartbroken.
"She’s doing the best someone can in this situation," Erikson tells Us.
Erikson dismisses a photo TMZ ran early Friday showing Price smiling hours after deciding to take Coleman off life support. "What they don’t understand is that it took two hours before Shannon could even walk ... because she kept throwing up," Erikson tells Us. "Once she started talking about Gary, she came alive. Her face lit up. So that picture was right after she got done giving the interview, and she was talking about how much she loved her husband."
As for Price asking Coleman fans for money to pay for his funeral (which was canceled for this weekend as Coleman's parents seek custody of his body), Erickson tells Us: "She wants what Gary wants. She has an attorney, that is willing to spend every penny to make sure Gary has what he wants."