‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Star Gary Coleman Stormed Out of an Interview After He Was Accused of Domestic Violence

Actor Gary Coleman’s legacy includes his portrayal of Arnold in Diff’rent Strokes. He won over viewers with his charm, and he became one of the highest-paid actors on ABC. However, people may also remember Coleman for other reasons — including allegations broached during a particularly heated interview. 

Gary Coleman was well-known for ‘Diff’rent Strokes’

gary coleman diff'rent strokes
Actor Gary Coleman poses for a portrait with co-stars Dana Plato and Todd Bridges while studying on the set of his show ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ in February 1980 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

According to Coleman’s IMDb page, he had over a dozen minor roles before landing his big break. Due to his short stature, directors regularly cast him as characters younger than him. When Coleman was 10 years old, he became a household name by starring in Diff’rent Strokes.

The show was a sitcom that addressed complex topics like alcoholism. Coleman dealt with serious health issues growing up, and the showrunner incorporated them into the series. He gained immense fame, and the catchphrase “What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” became iconic.

After Diff’rent Strokes ended, Coleman would appear in other TV shows. For example, he guest-starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Airplaying his Diff’rent Strokes character, Arnold. While many people were familiar with him, the actor struggled to maintain the success he found earlier. Some famous child actors grew up to face a lack of work, and Coleman’s stagnating career frustrated him.

Gary Coleman left an interview over allegations of abuse

After Coleman became an adult, he made headlines for different reasons. Several people reported seeing him get into more than one altercation with fans. In 1999, the police arrested Coleman for punching a persistent female fan who wanted an autograph.

Many people also heard about Coleman’s heated dispute with his wife and the suspicions that followed. Authorities cited him for domestic violence, but the actor would deny the allegations. According to The Young Turks, an attorney pestered Coleman about the issue until he walked away from the Insider interview.

“No, I don’t have a volatile relationship with anybody. If we have our discussion and, like most of the time, the men lose. You know, if I lose, or she loses, she goes that way; I go that way,” Coleman explained to the attorney. “There is no abuse that goes on in my house.”

Coleman grew irritated and made it clear that he did not care if people believed he abused his wife. However, the attorney repeatedly asked him if he did. Coleman exited the interview before their exchange could get more heated.

Other incidents involving Gary Coleman

Some people revealed other incidents that involved Coleman. Molly Shannon had a story to share about the late child actor. She explained that she ended up alone in a hotel room with the actor.

Coleman allegedly made multiple unwanted sexual advances, and she had to push him away. While Shannon did not feel physically threatened, she was uncomfortable. She claims he used their mutual agent to get alone time with her.

Another incident occurred on the set of Diff’rent Strokes. The tension between a couple of the stars began to arise in later seasons. Co-star Todd Bridges mentioned how Coleman’s parents began to isolate him from the rest of the cast.

Bridges stated that Coleman acted superior and was rude to others as a result. One day, the two of them got into a verbal confrontation. They slapped each other, and they did not speak to one another for a while after the altercation.

RELATED: ‘Diff’rent Strokes’: Gary Coleman Eventually Got Sick of His Character’s Famous Catchphrase