Comedian Molly Shannon said she was sexually harassed by “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman at the start of her career.
Shannon, while appearing on “The Howard Stern Show” to talk about her new memoir “Hello, Molly!” was asked by Stern about a portion of the book in which she recounts the experience.
Shannon, 57, told Stern that she had landed Coleman’s agent, and the agent asked if she wanted to meet the megastar. She was initially excited, but after her agent led her up to Coleman in the presidential suite of a hotel, she said, the agent “disappeared.”
Coleman, Shannon said, had her sit on the bed and then began tickling her.
“I was trying to be polite and stuff, I’m a polite Catholic girl — and a virgin,” Shannon said. “So I’m not even thinking about, I’m naive about anything about that.”
Shannon said Coleman repeatedly tried to kiss her and get on top of 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 recalled.
“I guess because of his size, I didn’t feel physically threatened,” she said. But “I’m getting really out of breath because it was like athletic and aerobic.”
Coleman, who died in 2010 at the age of 42, was about 4’8.
Shannon said she tried to retreat to the bathroom, but Coleman grabbed her leg. She was able to shake him off and lock herself in the bathroom, she said.
But while she was in there Coleman “sticks his hands under the door, and he’s like ‘I can see you,'” Shannon said.
She said she eventually “sprinted” out of the room.
“I think I was probably very polite,” Shannon said, but told her agent “you gotta watch that client of yours.”
“I wish I could have stood up or myself more,” Shannon told Stern.