Molly Shannon Recounts Ugly Incident With Gary Coleman

She says the late star sexually harassed her years ago in hotel room
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2022 2:15 PM CDT
Molly Shannon Recounts Ugly Incident With Gary Coleman
This cover image released by Ecco shows "Hello Molly!" by Molly Shannon.   (Ecco via AP)

Molly Shannon is making the rounds promoting her new memoir, and she spoke to Howard Stern about a disturbing incident with the late Gary Coleman at the start of her career. The 57-year-old recalls that she had just landed the same agent as Coleman, who at the time was a huge star thanks to the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, per Variety. She agreed to meet Coleman in his hotel suite, saying she was too "naive" to think anything was odd about that. But she said Coleman asked her to sit on the bed, then began trying to tickle and kiss her. "He was relentless," she said. "I would get off the bed, then he would bounce on the bed—jump jump jump jump—then he would wrap himself around me and I would fling him off."

Shannon said she managed to escape to the bathroom before being able to run from the room. "I guess because of his size, I didn’t feel physically threatened," she said, but she remembers being out of breath from fending him off physically over and over. Coleman, who died in 2010 at age 42, was roughly 4-foot-8, per NBC News. Shannon, whose book is Hello, Molly!, said she now regrets not standing up for herself more at the time. "I think I was probably very polite," she told Stern. She did, however, tell their mutual agent, "You gotta watch that client of yours." (More Molly Shannon stories.)

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