This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 6:13 PM- The mystery of who sold and bought the fancy pants belonging to actor - and Santaquin resident - Gary Coleman on eBay has been solved.
The prized piece of clothing, which some thought would fetch as much as $400,000 in the online auction, actually were acquired by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel for $500. The TV host proudly hung them from the rafters of his Hollywood studio during Tuesday night's show.
"We're finding a permanent spot in the studio to hang them," said Kimmel's supervising producer, Erin Irwin. "He's very excited about it."
And producers want to tape a bit where they take the pants outside, "for an opportunity to have people touch Gary Coleman's pants," Irwin added.
Kimmel, who was flying to Los Angeles from Las Vegas on Thursday, was unavailable for comment.
Earlier this month, the former child star of the hit sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," and his wife (according to Irwin, he married late last summer) put up an autographed pair of new athletic pants belonging to Coleman on eBay. The kid-sized (12XL), dark-blue pants, which were purchased at Kids Gap, received more than 135 bids, some reaching as much as $1.5 million.
But Coleman, who only wanted pre-approved and legitmate bidders, threw out the outrageous bids he thought were a hoax.
In fact, Kimmel, who had been bidding and talking about the pants on his show the week leading up to the end of the auction, had to put in a new bid because Coleman thought the first one was fake.
"[Kimmel's] user name was iwantgarycolemanspants," Irwin said. "He [Coleman] thought it was bogus because of the user name."
The highest bid - for $400,000 - was believed at first to be legitimate because it apparently came from a bidder with a high eBay approval rating, Irwin said, but it turned out to be fake.
Since then, Coleman and producer Irwin have been in contact, and Kimmel received the pants Monday. On Tuesday's show, there was a big ceremony unveiling the item.
"He thought it would be a funny thing. He gets something in his head, and he just wants to have them," Irwin said. "And when he got them, he wanted to do something grand."
Coleman moved to Santaquin in 2005 after filming the movie "Church Ball" in Utah County.