Golden Bachelor Gerry reflects on past dating ‘failures’ amid reports of rocky three-year relationship

Golden Bachelor Gerry reflects on past dating ‘failures’ amid reports of rocky three-year relationship

The Golden’s Bachelor’s leading man, Gerry Turner, has reflected on his difficult dating history amid reports that he was in a nearly three-year relationship before appearing on the reality TV show.

The 72-year-old reality star spoke candidly about his approaches to dating, after his wife Toni died in 2017, during a recent interview with People, published on 29 November. His remarks come after The Hollywood Reporter published an article that included claims from a woman who alleged she dated Turner for three years, with the reported relationship starting only three months after Toni had passed away.

During the interview with People – published one day before the finale of The Golden Bachelor airs – Turner spoke openly for the first time about dating in the years since his wife’s death. He also revealed that he previously tried, and failed, to find love again through online dating.

“I’ve dated a number of times since Toni’s passed, more recently than back closer to when she’s passed,” he said. “For one reason or another, the attempts didn’t work out. I could give you a wide range of reasons, but it doesn’t really matter.”

Turner said that after spending a year grieving the death of his wife, he thought he’d be ready to enter into a relationship again. However, according to the retired restaurant owner, “every time [he] thought [he] was ready” to date again, he “realised [he] wasn’t”.

“Somehow I got it in my head that if you grieve for a year, that at the end of the year, you should be okay. It absolutely wasn’t the case,” he said.

According to Turner, three years after his wife died, he decided it was time to see a grief counsellor, as he “wasn’t sure [if] he was on track”.

“I wasn’t sure I was mending properly. It was probably a life changer for me because I remember having two sessions with the counsellor, and he goes: ‘You’re fine. You just got to give yourself credit for being okay,’” he recalled.

According to Turner, while he “became more optimistic about dating” with the grief counsellor’s help, he didn’t get into any long-term relationships after Toni died. However, he said that throughout the dating process, he “developed one very good friendship with one woman” in Michigan. He specified that the friendship was “a success” for him while he failed to find a relationship.

“We realised that the romantic side of the relationship just wasn’t going to work, but we’ve seemed to maintain a nice friendship, so I feel good about that. If nothing else, some of the failures were offset by that one nice success,” he explained.

Turner added during the process of dating, he felt like “one failure led to another for a variety of reasons,” which also made him believe that he couldn’t have a second chance at love.

“It was actually about three and a half or four years, I just finally realised that: ‘Okay, I’m happy with myself. If I am going to be alone, I can deal with it,’” he said. However, he clearly didn’t give up on finding his person, as he went on to become the first-ever Golden Bachelor.

Turner’s comments about his dating challenges come after a woman alleged to THR that she dated him for three years, from mid-2017 to early 2020. The woman, who was referred to as Carolyn in the article, claimed that she started dating Turner in September 2017, a few months after Toni died. However, in The Golden Bachelor, Turner expressed that he hadn’t kissed a woman in six years, seemingly referring to his late wife.

Speaking to THR, Carolyn alleged that she first became friends with Turner earlier that year, when they were both working at a mental health centre in the Davenport area of Michigan.

“Then, we get the shocking news that Toni passed away, so most everyone at the office went to the visitation in July [2017],” she said. “Then, in August, I got a phone call from Gerry. I was so shocked to hear from him.”

Gerry Turner (ABC)
Gerry Turner (ABC)

Carolyn claimed that after she helped Turner donate some of Toni’s corporate clothes, she and the now Golden Bachelor star went out to dinner. She said that now, the idea that she’d “go out with a recent widower just mortifies [her]”. She also claimed that when she “looked back” on some of the text messages between her and Turner, she realised the “texts had turned hot and heavy so relatively soon”.

She went on to describe how the relationship developed, with Carolyn allegedly moving into Turner’s home in July 2018, after he reportedly asked her to do so multiple times. Carolyn claimed that Turner then asked her to split expenses, with her paying $850 a month to live in the home. When out to dinners, Carolyn allegedly paid her half in advance, before Turner paid the bill at the restaurants.

Carolyn alleged that they had a fallout in October 2019, after Turner took issue with what she wanted to wear to his high school reunion. She claimed that he told her he wasn’t “taking [her] to the reunion looking like that”. According to Carolyn, Turner then uninvited her from the event, which led to the breakup.

She claimed Turner asked her to leave his home by January 2020, and that he volunteered to pay for her U-Haul when moving. While packing when Turner wasn’t home, she said she allegedly fell down the stairs, which led to a visit to the ER and foot surgery. Carolyn claimed that when Turner returned, he not only accused her of falling so she could stay at his home longer, but he also suggested that she wanted to sue him for the injury.

Following the alleged incident, Carolyn said that Turner wouldn’t let her stay at the house during her last week at her accounting job, which was about an hour away from his home. As she allegedly made her way to a hotel for that week, after Turner requested her to do so, she claimed he told her: “I really wish this would’ve worked out. Call me when you get to your hotel, so I know you made it safe.”

In the season finale of The Golden Bachelor, which airs on 30 November, viewers will see Turner walk away engaged to one of the final two contestants: Leslie Fhima and Theresa Nisa. Following the finale, he’ll make an appearance in the “After the Final Rose” special, in which he’ll address what his relationship status is now.

The Independent has contacted representatives for ABC and The Golden Bachelor for comment.