'The Trust' Contestant Jake Chocholous Opens up About His Connection With Julie Theis

Kelly Corbett - Author

Jan. 25 2024, Updated 4:48 p.m. ET

Jake Chocholous from Season 1 of 'The Trust.'
Source: Carlos Rodriguez/Netflix

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for those not caught up on Season 1 of The Trust.

During Season 1 of Netflix's reality series The Trust: A Game of Greed, one contestant exudes major alpha energy: Jake Chocholous. This becomes evident in Episode 2 when he boldly asserts his intelligence and leadership prowess during a group activity, causing understandable discomfort among some of the female contestants.

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Jake's assertive behavior immediately draws attention, placing a big target on his back. Interestingly, the only female contestant supporting him is Julie Theis, who gets flirty with him throughout the show.

Fans are naturally curious about Jake's background and whether he and Julie eventually formed a romantic connection outside of the game. Below, we break down everything we know about The Trust contestant Jake Chocholous.

jake chocholous
Source: Netflix
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Who is Jake Chocholous?

Jake is an army vet and retired Blackhawk helicopter pilot. He also has a Master's degree in law. At the time of filming, he was working as a military contractor.

Jake's overwhelming self-confidence, coupled with his background, turned many women off on The Trust. When the group is asked to rank themselves from most intelligent to least, Jake confidently puts himself in the top spot. "I have a Master's degree," Julie reminds him, as she tries to go in front of him. "So do I, in law," he adds, belittling her.

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Jake also took the top spot for the best leader in the group, which didn't make him very popular with the ladies.

Since appearing on The Trust, Jake has started his own podcast dubbed the Man Up Daily, where he frequently shares controversial takes on women, the LGBTQ community, and children. He currently lives in Jackson, Fla.

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Before moving to Florida, Jake lived in Ohio with his now ex-wife, photographer Sarah Schmitt (previously Chocholous), whom he married in 2017. According to public records, they divorced in 2020 and she moved with their son Thatcher, born in 2019, to South Carolina. It's unclear if Jake has a relationship with his son Thatcher at all.

Did Jake Chocholous and Julie Theis end up dating?

As the first season of The Trust unfolded, Jake and Julie's relationship deepened, giving the impression that they were a couple. However, this closeness created tension among other female contestants who were not fond of Jake.

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Following the Season 1 finale of The Trust: A Game of Greed, where Jake and Julie emerged as the winners, Jake spoke with Entertainment Weekly and revealed that he and Julie had discussed the possibility of continuing their romance after the show concluded, but they held differing opinions on the matter.

Jake Chocholous and Julie Theis from Season 1 of 'The Trust: A Game of Greed'
Source: Netflix
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"We were asked, 'Could you guys see dating each other long-term?' And right off the bat, Julie's like, 'Yeah, of course I could,' and I was like, 'Well, thinking logically, we're really far apart. Maybe,'" Jake said. "And then right after the show finished filming, it was that very next weekend, Julie came to visit me. We hung out that whole weekend, had a ton of fun here in Florida, and then three weeks later, I flew to Austin, did some fun things together."

Jake revealed that their connection deepened once filming ended, becoming genuinely romantic without the presence of cameras. He told the outlet, "We had a romantic couple of weekends together, spent some good time together, and we did things that a normal couple would do, going out, and tons of fun events together, and meeting her friends."

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jake chocholous and julie theis
Source: Netflix

He emphasized the authenticity of their on-screen flirtation, even if it may have seemed strategic at times. "That was very authentic," he affirmed. However, Jake noted that toward the end of filming, they considered the reality of what their relationship would be outside of the show.

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"She's in Texas, I'm in Florida, we live vastly different lifestyles. Is it really going to be something that's going to be a long-term commitment longevity? We both realized that, clearly, it's not. She has a great career path in front of her, and I wish her nothing but the best."

After those initial romantic weekends, they decided to just be friends.

Jake Chocholous and Julie Theis kiss during the Season 1 finale of 'The Trust'
Source: Netflix

"We went silent for a little while, just because we were getting ready for the show to air, so there was a few months of just really not talking," Jake explained to EW. "And then finally, a month or so before the show aired, we reconnected, and everything was great. But truly, on set, it was very, very romantic. Now we're just platonic."

Season 1 of The Trust is now streaming on Netflix.

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