Molly Shannon Alleges Gary Coleman Sexually Harassed Her in Hotel Room Early in Her Career: ‘He Was Relentless’

In a new interview on the 'Howard Stern Show​​​​​​​,' actor and comedian Molly Shannon said she was sexually harassed by Gary Coleman early in her career.

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In a new interview on the Howard Stern Show, actor and comedian Molly Shannon said she was sexually harassed by Gary Coleman early in her career.

Shannon, who is perhaps best known for starring on Saturday Night Live for six years, said the Diff’rent Strokes actor invited her to his hotel room early in her career via his agent. When she spoke to the agent, who was also her agent at the time, she was led up to Coleman’s room before the agent suddenly “disappeared.” 

“I think he was like, ‘Sit down [on the bed].’ It was very sweet,” she continued. “And then he’s, like, tickling me a little. This and that.” She said that she was “a virgin” at the time of the incident and was “trying to be polite” because she was “naive.” After she told him to stop, he reportedly became aggressive.

“He was relentless,” she said. “Then, he was like trying to kiss me and get on top and I was like, ‘No, Gary. Stop.’ So I push him off. Then I would get off the bed. Then he would bounce on the bed. Jump, jump, jump. And wrap himself around me. Then, I would fling him off. And then he got on top of me. I guess because of his size I didn’t feel physically threatened. But…it was going on and on. Repeating. I would throw him off, he would get back on.” 

Shannon explained that she was getting “really out of breath,” so she locked herself in the bathroom. “Then he sticks his hands under the door. And he’s like, ‘I can see you,’” she added. Eventually, she was able to escape when she “sprinted out” of Coleman’s hotel room, and she told the agent to “watch” the former child star better.

“I wish I could have stood up for myself more,” Shannon said.

While the exact time of the incident was not revealed, her screen career began in 1989. She was four years older than Coleman, who himself began acting in 1974, the year he turned 6.

Coleman died in 2020 at age 42. He suffered from numerous health issues throughout his life, and also faced a number of legal issues. He was charged with assault in 1998, cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in 2007, and arrested on an outstanding domestic assault warrant just months prior to his death.

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