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If you've fallen for Gerry Turner, you're certainly not alone. When the Golden Bachelor—starring the seemingly wholesome lead—premiered this fall, 13.9 million viewers tuned in, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (The episode earned the highest multiplatform rating for The Bachelor franchise since 2021, THR says.) Throughout this past season, there have been tons of cute moments and genuine, heartfelt tears shared between Gerry and the ladies he's been courting on national television. I'd argue this series is the most charming slice of reality television...maybe ever.
While Golden Bachelor fever has taken over pop culture (will there be a Golden Bachelorette soon?!) in recent months, the good vibes have soured at a particularly pertinent moment—right before the finale on Thursday, November 30. Gerry's alleged ex-girlfriend just opened up about their relationship and shared some *major* revelations about him with The Hollywood Reporter.
Here's everything you need to know about Gerry Turner, including the latest bombshell allegations:
Gerry's alleged ex and others spoke out about his past relationships.
While Bachelor Nation was led to believe that Gerry hadn't "dated in 45 years," which he told Entertainment Tonight, and hadn't been kissed in six years, it turns out that he might have dated more than one woman after his wife's death, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
His alleged ex—who chose to remain anonymous and was referred to as Carolyn in the THR story—and her friends told the publication that they started dating a few months after the death of Gerry's wife, Toni. The outlet also obtained text messages between Gerry and her, as well as other documents.
Gerry met Carolyn—who is 14 years younger than him—while he worked maintenance at the Vera French Mental Health Center, where she was an accountant, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They were friends, and after Toni's death, she recalled getting a phone call from him in August 2017 where Gerry asked if she could help him donate some of the clothing from her estate. She complied, and Gerry took her out to dinner to thank her.
“The idea that I’d go out with a recent widower just mortifies me,” she told the publication. “Until I went back and looked at my text messages, I never realized Gerry’s texts had turned hot and heavy so relatively soon.”
They began officially dating in September, one month after Toni's death, and Gerry soon after allegedly texted her: “You are the right woman for me. No need to look further," per The Hollywood Reporter.
They dated for 10 months after that before Carolyn gave up her life in Iowa to move into Gerry's lake house in a small town in Indiana. To convince her to move, Gerry suggested Carolyn quit her job and get a new one near the lake house. She also told the The Hollywood Reporter that Gerry promised her mother that he eventually wanted to marry her. They ended up living together for another year and nine months.
By July 2018, things became less glamorous. Gerry told Carolyn that they would be splitting expenses and asked her for $1,000 a month, but she negotiated it down to $850. He also said they would split all meals at restaurants, except for on special occasions. (The outlet even reported that she would pay her half before the meal, then Gerry would pay the whole check when it came.)
Later, when Carolyn was packing for Gerry's high school reunion in October 2019, he allegedly pointed to her body and said, “I’m not taking you to the reunion looking like that," The Hollywood Reporter reported. While she thought he was calling out her 10-pound weight gain due to stress, it could be interpreted multiple ways.
The alleged couple eventually broke up in 2020, per THR. Gerry told Carolyn to move out of the house by January 1. While she was home alone packing her belongings, she fell down the stairs and had to go to the hospital for surgery the next day, per the outlet.
When Gerry got home that night, he allegedly accused her of falling to extend her stay at his house, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He also accused her of wanting to sue him for the injury. He didn't end up letting her stay in the house and told her to go to a hotel instead.
He allegedly closed their relationship by saying: “I really wish this would’ve worked out. Call me when you get to your hotel, so I know you made it safe,” according to the publication.
Beyond Gerry's alleged relationship with Carolyn, he also dated a couple of women “for a decent amount of time, but it just didn’t work out," Heather Lanning, an employee from The Shady Nook, a restaurant near Gerry's Indiana lake house, told The U.S. Sun. "They weren’t long-term, but they weren't short-term either." She said Gerry didn't use dating apps, but was introduced to other people at the restaurant.
Gerry is 72 years old.
TBH, despite being a certified Baby Boomer, Gerry does seem to be pretty young at heart. This teaser shows him flying around and doing wheelies on an ATV.
He has a big lion tattoo on his shoulder.
Surprise! As everyone saw during episode 5, Gerry was rocking some serious ink during his hot tub scene with Faith. The tattoo was of a lion's head, and sat very prominently on his upper-right shoulder. Who knew this man had that kind of secret hidden (literally) up his sleeve?! I sure didn't.
He later explained that his midlife tattoo was inspired by his work ethic, and the lion image came from a poster.
"Every day in Africa, a lion wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. And every day in Africa, the gazelle wakes up knowing it must run faster than the lion or it will be eaten. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running," Gerry explained, per USA Today. "That was my philosophy."
He is from Hudson, Indiana.
The Golden Bachelor lives in his “dream house on a beautiful lake in Indiana,” according to ABC. The home is reportedly worth around $637,000 and was purchased in 2017, per The U.S. Sun.
In the premiere episode, Gerry explains that he and his wife bought it together just a short time before she died. It was their "Dream Home."
Gerry is retired and has lots of hobbies.
This grandpa is pretty active—the network says he’s “often busy hosting barbecues, playing pickleball, cheering on his favorite Chicago sports teams, four-wheeling and spending time with friends and family at restaurants and local haunts.”
Close friends of Gerry told the U.S. Sun that he is a regular at a local Hudson restaurant—the Shady Nook Inn—and is the vice president of the town's lake association.
Sounds like ABC picked the right guy! Gerry certainly hasn't let age slow him down at all, and he's looking for a woman who will feel the same, per The New York Times.
Gerry's wife died of a bacterial infection in 2017.
Gerry’s backstory leading up to his lead role on the show is pretty tragic. He married his high school sweetheart Tori in 1974 and, according to ABC, “they lived a full and happy life.” Unfortunately, Toni “suddenly fell ill and passed away in 2017."
On the opening episode of the Bachelor, Gerry explained his wife's passing in a tearful confessional. Toni's death was extremely sudden, and occurred shortly after she retired. She had only been retired for six weeks when she got sick, GMA points out.
"We went to the emergency room and she had a bacterial infection that infected her kidneys and infected her liver," he said on the first episode of The Golden Bachelor. "I took my wife to the emergency room on July 7th. She passed away on July 15th."
The two had been married for 43 years, ABC said.
"She got robbed. Every day that goes by, that's the thought that I have," Gerry told GMA. "I have her picture on a dresser in my closet. Every morning I give her a nod, 'So what do you think about this?' For awhile it was like, I was having a hard time figuring out if she would be okay. But we always told each other when one of us goes, we want the other to be happy. She's up there rooting [for me]. She's saying, 'Yeah, Gerry. Do this.'"
So far, Gerry and several other contestants have actually bonded over experiencing the deaths of their partners. On his first one-on-one, he got deep with Theresa about their shared heartbreak and loss.
He thinks his late wife would 'totally be in favor' of his reality TV stint.
"I'm not gonna lie, it was a long, slow process to get to the point where I could talk about (Toni) without, becoming completely emotional," Gerry told USA Today. He believes his late wife would be all for his decision to be on the show.
"I had some concerns at first that maybe if she were here looking over my shoulder, that she wouldn't think positively about it," Gerry said. "But I was reminded of all the conversations that we had, that when one of us passed we wanted and hoped the other one, the survivor, would go through the process of grieving, but still find happiness in life."
Gerry says he found "peace with that. I think (Toni) would totally be in favor of what I'm doing."
The Golden Bachelor also told PEOPLE in September that he sought grief counseling after his wife's passing.
"About three years in, I wasn't sure I was on track. I wasn't sure I was mending properly,” he told the publication. "[The counselor said] 'You're fine. You just got to give yourself credit for being OK.’ I changed my mind about counseling during that time. That is something I would recommend to anyone who's had loss."
He has two daughters and two granddaughters.
Gerry has two daughters—Angie and Jenny, 49—that he raised with Toni. Jenny currently lives in Michigan with her husband, Jon, and two daughters—Charlee and Payton. So that means this pickleball lover is a grandfather, too!
And, for what it’s worth, Gerry told GMA that his daughters were the ones who suggested that he sign up for the show.
"At first I thought, 'That's silly!'" he told USA Today. "But then I thought, I've got nothing to lose. I wasn't dating anyone...And to my surprise, I got a callback. That's how this all started."
It doesn't seem Angie has any children, but she's currently the vice president of sales at a pharmaceutical company. She may be married—as her last name is Warner—but there aren't many deets about her nuclear family out there ATM.
Gerry's fam will probably appear on the show, too, since they’ve already shown up in plenty of promo pics.
And his youngest granddaughter, Charlee, 16, is already cheering her grandfather on in an IG Story post. "I CALL HIM GRANDPA!!!" she wrote next to a post of the announcement about Gerry's new role. "SO EXCITED FOR YOU. CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS JOURNEY!"
Gerry recently posted with Charlee from one of her volleyball games, captioning his post, "My all time favorite Vballer," which is simply adorable. "Best hugs eva 💓," she commented back.
This 'hopeless romantic' got advice from former Bachelor Nation leads.
Before filming, Gerry talked to the very first Bachelorette, Trista Sutter. She's been married to the winner of her season—Ryan Sutter—for 19 years.
"Trista told me 'Gerry, don't look for the woman that you can live with. Look for the woman you can't live without,'" Turner told USA Today. "I kept that thought at the forefront for the show. And it worked out."
His name is pronounced like 'Gary.'
Gerry told USA Today that he uses the Gaelic pronunciation of Gerry. (It sounds like Gary.) But if someone calls him "Jerry," it's not a big deal.
"When I was in the third grade the nuns would tell me my name was Jerry," he has said about going to Catholic school. "When I said it differently, like Gary, they'd rap my knuckles. I learned to not be sensitive about how my name was pronounced ever since."
He’s a retired restauranteur.
Gerry used to work in the food industry—a restauranteur, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is someone who owns and manages a restaurant.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 17, 2023
Gerry's work history is long and prolific. During his tenure, he has worked for Mr Quick Restaurants, Ken Moore Foods, John Morrell & Co, Thoms-Proestler Co., Brueggers, Sbarro, King's Food Service, and Rock River Provision, according to his LinkedIn.
Gerry has an Instagram account.
And it's aptly called @goldengerryturner. "Hello, I’m Gerry 😃," his bio reads.
Needless to say, fans have been totally obsessed with this cutie.
"Congrats! Can’t wait to watch your journey. I hope you truly find someone," one person wrote on his post. "We lost my mom when my dad was 58, he’s now 62, with a gf and I’m so happy for him that he found someone and they are very happy together. Everyone deserves to be happy. Good luck! Your energy is light and I have a good feeling:)."
His latest post includes a photo of him wearing sunglasses, with a caption asking "Is this Rizz?" Um, I believe it is, Gerry!
Does Gerry find true love at the end of the season?
Gerry seems pretty positive about his quest, and when Ellen told him she was "falling for him" during episode 4, pretty much everyone swooned, including Gerry. He got teary-eyed and explained it had been a very long time since he'd heard these kinds of things. Awww!!
"I'd love it if I found a partner who is high energy. Someone who was high-energy. Someone who maybe plays pickleball; someone who maybe plays golf,” he told GMA. He’s also open to the idea of getting married again. "I wouldn't discount it,” he said.
And when pressed by USA Today to talk about how his season ends, he simply says, he's still "completely optimistic" about love. "I believe there's someone for everyone," he says. "If you're open to the opportunity, hopeful and allow yourself to be vulnerable, good things will always happen for you."
If you're not tearing up yet, you should get your eyes checked.
Gerry has a few turn-offs.
While Gerry seems giddy with how the Golden Bachelor season is going so far, he does have some icks. (He's only human after all!) For one, he would never date a smoker, he previously told PEOPLE. It also seems that he's looking for a Midwestern princess, as geographical distance is another red flag for him.
He also definitely wasn't down with the way Kathy was talking to Theresa (ICYMI, she told Theresa to "snip it" after she claimed Theresa was talking about her dates too much in front of the other gals).
However, the season's star is still willing to compromise. "Something may look like a red flag on its surface, but when you explore it a little bit further, you might find that it's not a problem at all," he told PEOPLE. Okay, open-minded king!
Is Gerry Turner engaged?
The Golden Bachelor finale arrives on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Stay tuned for more updates on Gerry as they become available.
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