'The Golden Bachelor' Leading Man Gerry Turner Is No Different From Other Franchise Stars

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 29 2023, Published 3:20 p.m. ET

Gerry Turner
Source: ABC

The Gist:

  • Gerry Turner, the first-ever Golden Bachelor, may not be so nice after all.
  • In November 2023, revelations indicated that Gerry fabricated details about his career and relationships.
  • Gerry's ex-girlfriend opened up about their whirlwind romance after his late wife, Toni, died in 2017.
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Hold onto your roses, Bachelor Nation, because it turns out The Golden Bachelor leading man, Gerry Turner, might not be the charming sweetheart we all thought he was! Word on the reality TV street is that the 72-year-old widower was the ultimate ladies' man before the cameras started rolling.

Although Gerry asserted that he hadn't been on a date since his wife's passing and provided a detailed account of his experience as a successful restaurateur, The Hollywood Reporter recently uncovered several apparent discrepancies in his story. Read on for the scoop, like how Gerry kicked off a new love story a mere month after losing his wife.

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Gerry Turner at a 'Golden Bachelor' event.
Source: ABC

Gerry Turner's ex-girlfriend opened up about their relationship.

In the November 2023 exposé, The Hollywood Reporter pulled back the curtain on Gerry and his falsehoods. Despite flaunting the title of "retired restaurateur" on The Golden Bachelor, his last stint in the industry was back in 1985 when he sold his Mr. Quick hamburger drive-in franchise.

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The show painted a picture of Gerry retiring at 55 in 2006, but a peek at his LinkedIn profile reveals a trail of sales and management gigs in the meat industry with no specific end date for his employment. And oh, the reality dating series conveniently skipped over his post-retirement gigs like installing hot tubs and working as a maintenance man at the Vera French Mental Health Center in Davenport, Iowa.

Gerry Turner during a rose ceremony.
Source: ABC
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But wait, the plot thickens — it was in this latter role that Gerry crossed paths with a woman 14 years his junior named "Carolyn." What's truly shocking is that their nearly three-year relationship started just a month after the tragic demise of his wife. Wow, talk about an unforeseen and scandalous layer to the story!

Carolyn became friends with Gerry at the mental health center in Davenport, where he was adored by co-workers and patients alike. In July 2017, the shocking news of Toni's passing rippled through the staff, but by August, the reality TV personality was shamelessly pursuing Carolyn.

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During a phone call, Gerry told Carolyn he was heading to Davenport to handle Toni's estate and asked if she could help him donate his late wife's corporate wardrobe to Dress for Success. Carolyn willingly agreed, and as a gesture of gratitude, Gerry treated her to dinner afterward.

Gerry Turner and his 'Golden Bachelor' ladies celebrating after a rose ceremony.
Source: ABC
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"The idea that I'd go out with a recent widower just mortifies me," Carolyn explained to the outlet. "I just really didn't see it. Until I went back and looked at my text messages, I never realized Gerry's texts had turned hot and heavy so relatively soon."

After a year of long-distance, Carolyn moved into Gerry's lake house at the end of July 2018. But before she upended her life, Gerry made an unexpected pledge to her mom — he claimed he had intentions to make Carolyn his wife.

However, Gerry failed to keep his word because he and Carolyn eventually went their separate ways. While preparing for his high school reunion in October 2019, Gerry expressed displeasure with Carolyn's appearance. He went so far as to criticize her over a minor 10-pound weight gain, revealing a side that left Carolyn (and us) stunned.

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Gerry Turner standing in the 'Bachelor' mansion.
Source: ABC

Gerry then told Carolyn to move out by Jan. 1, 2020, and offered to cover her U-Haul expenses. However, things took a turn on Carolyn's first day of packing when she took a tumble down the stairs, resulting in an ER visit and subsequent foot surgery. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gerry accused Carolyn of exploiting the injury as a ploy to extend her stay and potentially take legal action against him.

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In the end, Gerry insisted Carolyn stay in a hotel during the final week of her two-week notice before leaving her job and returning to Iowa. She recalled Gerry telling her, "I really wish this would've worked out. Call me when you get to your hotel so I know you made it safe."

A few 'Golden Bachelor' ladies feel that Gerry wasn't honest with them.

It turns out Carolyn wasn't the only relationship Gerry and Golden Bachelor producers failed to mention. A bombshell dropped in October 2023 when the U.S. Sun reached out to Heather Lanning-Adams, a former waitress at The Shady Nook. This lakeside bar and restaurant in Hudson, Ind., is located right next to Gerry's lake house, so close that he'd essentially made it his bachelor hangout.

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Heather, who considered Gerry a good friend, told the outlet that in the past six years, "He dated a couple of women. They weren't all long-term, but they weren't short-term either. … He was with a couple of women for a decent amount of time, but it just didn't work out. ... I think it goes back to whether you're there for the right reason or not."

Gerry Turner and a few of his 'Golden Bachelor' contestants.
Source: ABC

In the midst of these explosive revelations, a Bachelor insider spoke with Life & Style and shockingly revealed that a slew of Golden Bachelor contenders are convinced Gerry has been playing them for fools.

"The perfect guy fantasy has been shattered, and a lot of the women who fell in love with him feel lied to,” the source told the outlet. "It's put a dark cloud over the whole show that was finally getting raves for finding a genuine, caring guy who stole America's heart."

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