Gerry Turner might have found his happily ever after on the “Golden Bachelor,” but not before having his engagement to contestant Theresa Nist cast in a not-so-rosy light.
On Wednesday, the day before the highly anticipated finale, The Hollywood Reporter highlighted inconsistencies in Turner’s portrayal on the reality show, predominately about his employment history and dating life.
Turner, 72, is now addressing many of the unfavorable allegations made against him, mostly by a woman claiming to be his ex-girlfriend. He says there is “just enough truth” in the article to make it elicit the negative reaction it has.
“The comments about what I did later in life, with you know, hot tubs…some of the mentally challenged things – I did those after I retired,” Turner told Katie Couric. “I retired at 55 and didn’t want to do anything. And so I was very happy kind of giving back to the community, doing something that was worth something to other people.”
A product of “The Bachelor” franchise, the “Golden Bachelor” was the first season to feature senior contestants, with Turner being the lead. Described as a retired restaurateur, THR noticed discrepancies on Turner’s LinkedIn profile, including hot tub installment and maintenance work at a health center in the Davenport area.
“I really didn’t work as a handyman for the money. I did it because I knew I was doing something good for people who needed help,” Turner continued. “That’s kind of the funny part of that article. There’s just enough truth in it, but the reality is, it’s not of concern to me now. I have so many positives that I have to think about that I haven’t given that article a whole lot of thought,” he told Couric. He gave similar sentiments to The New York Times, saying he had only given THR article a “cursory look.”
“I guess I haven’t really looked at it as how accurate it is,” he told the outlet. “I’ve more looked at it in terms of timing, and how it really doesn’t fit with all of the positive things that are going on in my life right now,” he said. “I mean, I’m sitting across from Theresa right now, and I look at her and she’s the love of my life. And I really don’t have time to think about some of the other stuff,” he added.
That’s kind of the funny part of that article. There’s just enough truth in it, but the reality is, it’s not of concern to me now.
In a separate interview given to the Los Angeles Times, Turner said more of the same. “My only response is that I have so many positive things in my life right now. I have the wonderful love of Theresa, my partner. I don’t have time to reflect on comments like this. I’m happy to look forward.”
In their conversation with Couric, Turner and Nist were grilled about statements made by Turner’s ex, given the pseudonym Carolyn for privacy reasons. Carolyn said she and Turner’s relationship started only three months after his wife Toni passed away. She moved into his Indiana home after 10 months together and the relationship lasted for nearly three years.
“It really didn’t,” Turner told Couric. “I wanna focus on what’s going on now. The important thing for me is where I’m at today. And looking back on those things, to me, is no benefit,” he emphasized. Turner did clarify that he had in fact dated a number of women,” just like “any guy.”
“It becomes an issue of how do you define if you’re in a relationship or not,” he told Couric.
Carolyn went on to make several other egregious allegations against Turner, including that he had made unflattering comments about her weight. Packing for a high school reunion in October 2019, Turner told Carolyn, “I’m not taking you to the reunion looking like that.” She had gained 10 pounds due to stress.
That was reportedly the catalyst for their breakup, with Turner telling Carolyn she had to be out of their home at the beginning of the year in 2020. Carolyn said that while she was packing, she fell down the stairs and required a trip to the hospital. When Turner returned home, he accused her of fabricating the fall in an effort to prolong her stay. Refusing to let her stay, Carolyn was forced to go to a hotel.
Nist told Couric that she was not discouraged by the information she read about her new fiancé in THR article. “He’s discussed his past with me,” she said. “I completely trust Gerry and we really know each other.”
Turner says some of the backlash he’s received has been fuel. “The most fun I’ve had has been reading some of the negative conversations and negative comments,” he told Couric. “All the way from me being a recovering alcoholic to having had [a] spray tan, to having my ears pinned back, which I think is really a funny one,” he said of rumors he’s faced thus far. “So this falls in that category. People are going to have their opinions and there’s no way to change those. What I know is to be true and what [Theresa and I] had discussed is really the only important part to me.”
A representative for ABC did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.