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June 10th, 2010
07:49 AM ET

Gary Coleman Photo Controversy

Is a picture really worth a thousand words?
An image of Gary Coleman lying in a hospital bed with his wife leaning into the photo beside him is stirring controversy,
The Globe has purchased the photo and it’s on the front cover of the weekly newspaper.

We want to know what you think, should the image be made public?
Send us your feedback to and we’ll read some of your responses on CNN Newsroom at 10am.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Albert L Root III

    This shows just how small the Media can go for their news. Important matters about illigal immigrants, gov't takeovers, our military wounded & heros get very little coverage. Amazing isn't it?

    June 10, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  2. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    It look's like a normal Tabloyd magazine picture trying to make money on another person's misfortune im surprised there wasnt an alien leaning over the bed .

    June 10, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  3. David Cheeseman

    Though it's sad, this is just an aspect of our society now. Those who are celebrities or politicians have no privacy and no peace even in death. However those photos would not have sold if there wasn't a demand to see them. We may have to look inward as a society to understand this shameless breech of privacy.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  4. Roland

    Sick! Absolutely SICK!

    June 10, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  5. Michael Parido

    Kudos to Kyra and CNN for not showing the pictures. I can't imagine the type of person who feels entitled to see such a thing, or would want to.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  6. curious1966

    No, I do not believe those "deathbed" pics of Gary Coleman should be published, let alone sold. His so called wife should be ashamed. I guess she doesnt believe in the term Rest In Peace. Shameful.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  7. chet

    Oh what the greedy will do for money.

    June 10, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  8. Yvette

    I have a few legal questions. How did the ex-wife have authority to pull the plug? And if she didn't have have the legal authority to pull the plug, could she be charged with murder or manslaughter? Could his family sue her and/or the hospital for wrongful death if she had no legal right to pull the plug since they were divorced?

    June 10, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  9. melissa wiley

    well i agree with todd bridges on this one,also i bet his wife married him for the money, and when he landed in the hospital, well she was probably scared she would get nothing so why not sell pictures,that is sick and sad.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  10. James

    No it shouldn't have been taken period....but what can we say about certain media people,anything for a money, that's sick..

    June 10, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  11. R. Ross

    Should the picture be shown? No, Hell No! Certainly not by any respectable news source. Unfortunately, there is a market for this type of "news". It is not a demand that I can respect any more than I can respect a source that would supply it. Show business is ugly at its root. This is just another example of how ugly it can get.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  12. Michael Wilson

    Its another way for someone to profit from someones death. There are Ghouls out there that are willing spend money to see this garbage. If his wife is involved with the sale of the photos she will be villified. If not she should have them blocked from publication or file a court order to prevent it. Sad,Sad!

    June 10, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  13. Larry

    You're kidding right?

    June 10, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  14. gombita

    It sounds to me as if Gary's EX-Wife might have litteraly picked Him up; he's so small, and threw Him against the ground hitting his head so hard that it put him in the Hospital. Then She pulls the plug on his life, and is probably behind this picture scam as well. In the end...She will most likely end-up with everything of Gary's. Such a sad story...

    June 10, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  15. Valeria T

    Why should the ex wife or anyone else be villified for providing these pictures? They merely show facts, don't they? And isn't it the job of a news agency to disseminate those facts? Yes, seeing someone dying is sad and unpleasant, but there's a lot of other things that appear in news that are also, and I don't see anyone condemning news agencies for showing those. Why should it be all right to show death in one news item, but not in another?

    June 10, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  16. Sandra Treadway

    I agree with everyone's position on Shannon actions regarding the pictures. I've wondered if it's lack of maturity or naiveness. I know people grieve differently but I even question the genuineness of her true love. Could she have done that if it were her parents or siblings? That is the most undignified manner in which to treat the deceased. I am further disappointed in The Globe. They don't have the best reputation for truthfulness, but to patronize her under these circumstances and conditions is a new low for them. Who would have thought there were even possible with the disrespect they regularly display to celebrities and famous people. It pains me as an American for this to be national news. It is truly one of those things I'd rather not be nationally known. I hope at some point for what it is worth she recants this decision and apologizes to the general public and most importantly his parents.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  17. Karen

    As long as people demand these kind of pictures they will be shown.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  18. Brandon

    I am so thankful that you refused to show the pictures CNN. Thank you for having class and dignity.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  19. Steve Lockridge

    Why even give mention to where the Coleman photos can be viewed. Almost just as sick in my opinion.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  20. Darren

    The problem is not with the photographer, it's with the purchaser of the photos, namely everyone of your viewers. As long as people want to see them, there will be a photographer to take them.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  21. Dave Steele

    I am becoming numb to the publics insatiable desire for pictures of tragedy. What worries me most is the fact that as awful as this is, I am not surprised, nor shocked.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  22. Kris

    It is sick to think that someone, even his wife, would use his death to make a buck. What's worse is that the media is willing to pay for those photos and publish them. Worse than that, the issue, if printed, will sell millions of copies.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  23. Will McLaughlin

    I will remember Gary Coleman as the kid who made me laugh growing up. I will not visit the Globe website to see the images...nor should anyone who loved or respected him.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  24. Darren Mak

    I remember seeing photos of Michael Jackson in the ambulance as it drove away, with someone performing CPR on him being shown on CNN... I also remember just a couple of weeks ago seeing video of moments before and after the red shirt military leader had been shot in the head running over and over on CNN... The uproar about Gary Coleman's photo seems to be a little hypocritical

    I'm not saying the taking or publishing of the photo is right or wrong, but it seems if CNN doesn't get the scoop... Your policies change and you sprout morals!

    June 10, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  25. C Wilson

    Aren't these pictures of the same Gary Coleman that sold the rights of his divorce to 'Divorce Court'? He was willing to air his dirty laundry for a few bucks then. If his (ex) wife needed the money, he probably would have approved. Hey, it's the American Way...Try to get something for nothing.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  26. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    CNN wants the people to choose for their safe guard. The image is public if The Globe has it on the front of the magazine. It is not right to be made public. It is like Michael Wilson said is another way for someone to profit from someone's death. It is sad.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  27. anon

    This is exactly why I have never and never will buy a tabloid. What a waste of money and human dignity. BTW.... It's just so unfair to other networks how CNN has the most beautiful and intelligent women as well as cool and intelligent reporters. Kyra, Brook, Chetry, etc, are just too cute. I hated to see Heidi leave. Please do not let any more women leave CNN. Keep up the good work.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  28. JohnHenry

    Why shouldn't she profit from this.Everyday news organizations make a living exploiting people,hiding behind their ammendment rights.This is no different.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  29. Crystal

    I was trying to keep an open mind about his ex-wife, but this photo solidifies my opinion. She should be ashamed of herself and I hope she doesn't get a dime of his estate.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  30. whywhywhy

    1. why weren't they charged with trespassing and theft??
    2.why isn't the family being looking th the video in Et tonight it looks like there was nothing there that could have caused the gash on Gary's head.
    3.why hasn't the coroner and police department not come out with a statement on what happened
    4.why does shannon have a rep she is a nobody
    5.last of all why is Dion allowing Shannon have a say on what to do with Gary's ashes??

    oh and Shannon your nothing but a leech how can you sit there and say Gary doesn't want the media to see him this way and then turn around and sell the pictures??? please answer us that

    Todd please do something!!!!

    CNN can't you investigate these things?? you had no problem investigating when it was M.J

    June 10, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  31. Grace12_34

    Imagine someone thinking it was okay for Shannon Price and The Globe to pose for and publish those photos of a dying/dead man. It just goes to show the unraveling of moral fiber in American society. The Globe has an excuse: It is just another segment of the nasty media. Shannon Price, on the other hand, was the EX-so-called-WIFE of the deceased. Hopefully, she'll everything that's coming to her as she rots in hell.

    June 10, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  32. Scott Walker

    It's no worse than CNN showing someone shot down in the street and blood coming out if their head.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  33. rebecca

    The ex-Mrs. Coleman was listed on Gary Colemans advance directive/ living will forms that the hospital had. She was authorized to allow discontinuation of life support. I do not think it horrible to publish pictures of the dead. It used to be common to take photos of the dead and distribute them to family members, or print them in the newspapers as in the case of famous people (Lincoln) or infamous criminals (John Dillinger).

    June 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  34. Greg, Ontario

    I may be wrong but didn't he pass on financially strapped? Did anyone check to see if she needed the money to give him a decent funeral?

    June 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  35. Mrs. Harrison

    This entire ordeal is very sad and misfortunate. No the pictures should not be made public. I know that if I were in the hospital for even a simple procedure, I would not want my photo published so for someones picture to be posted of them on their deathbed is just terrible. If Shannon Price needs money then she should go out and look for a job rather than cashing in with these tragic photos.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  36. pats

    Sad, why can't the public come together and punish the system that supports the destruction of Gary’s dignity. Now the question is, shouldn’t the proceeds be paid to the estate, an estate which the X-Wife has no ownership. Can we find out if she pulled the plug without legal rights to do so? Sad

    June 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  37. pats

    Here is another point, if the X-Wife did not have legal rights to terminate Gary's life and if she was in the room without Gary's approval, can the Globe's be held liable and any records legally requested by the estate. Maybe if the public knew how the Globe works as a business we might be able to write new laws against this type of crime.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  38. Cynthia W.

    I feel that Shannon did not love Gary there was no concern in her voice when the 911 call was made, Please do not publish him on his death bed , this will put more focus on Shannon and not Gary,his family need time to heal a mother and a father lost there child.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  39. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    It's a sad situation that people would sell a picture of a supposed loved one while they are on their death bed.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  40. luvmichael4ever

    The pictures make Shannon look awfully bad to me, especially since she was Gary Coleman's ex-wife. She did not have the right to pull the plug. Who's to say that he would not have lived if he had been left alone? As for the picture, I saw it on the cover of the Globe at a store today. I didn't buy the tabloid because I hate them and I didn't like what I saw. It looked to me as though she was trying to get a picture the way a fan does next to their favorite celebrity. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Anyway, I don't think she should've done and that she was out of her place.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  41. CC

    That picture is horrible and if she doesn't think so, why doesn't she say who took it? She is pushing to have the body cremated so another autopsy can't be done. I would be interested in hearing from experts to explain how a person of such short stature dies from a "fall." I think she pushed him eventaully causing his death. She wants a quick burail so she won't be charged.

    June 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm |

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