'Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner Reportedly Had a Secret Long-Term Relationship Before the Show

His ex-girlfriend alleges that Turner and ABC hid their three-year relationship from the reality hit's viewers.

Gerry Turner attends the 2023 CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 08, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Image credit: Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Update, 11/30: In a new interview with People, following allegations that he had a long-term relationship in the years after his wife Toni's passing, Turner admitted that he has dated several women since her death, but claimed that none of those dates led to lasting relationships. The news comes a day after his ex-girlfriend revealed their three-year relationship in a bombshell report from The Hollywood Reporter.

“I've dated a number of times since Toni's passed, more recently than back closer to when she's passed. 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 told People. He also said that he grieved for a year following Toni's death, adding, "every time I thought I was ready [to date], I realized I 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 OK. It absolutely wasn't the case."

Neither Turner nor ABC have commented directly on the original report, in which Turner's ex claims that their relationship began just a month after his wife's death.

Original post: The Golden Bachelor has been lauded as a refreshing, sincere revitalization of the Bachelor Nation franchise since its record-breaking premiere. However, according to a new report, 72-year-old star Gerry Turner may not be as genuine as he's appeared onscreen.

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter released a shocking exposé, in which an unidentified woman (referred to as "Carolyn" throughout the piece) reveals that she was in a three-year relationship with Turner following the death of his wife, despite the star's claims that he "hasn't dated in 45 years," as he told Entertainment Tonight. In addition to Carolyn's recollection of the relationship, the outlet also verified several details, including the couple's brief period living together at Turner's Hudson, Indiana, lake house prior to their tumultuous breakup in January 2020.

Gerry Turner was joined by tastemakers at Jac's on Bond for a golden hour toast to celebrate the series premiere of "The Golden Bachelor," on September 26th in New York City

(Image credit: Ben Hider/ABC via Getty Images)

Per the outlet, Turner and Carolyn, who is 14 years his junior, began dating a month after his wife Toni's death. (The pair first met while they were both working at a mental health clinic in Davenport, Iowa, years prior.) Turner allegedly contacted Carolyn to ask for her help in donating some of Toni's clothes, and their relationship blossomed from there.

"The idea that I’d go out with a recent widower just mortifies me. 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," Carolyn told THR, looking back on the start of the relationship. At the time, Turner allegedly texted her, "You are the right woman for me. No need to look further."

The pair reportedly dated for 10 months, and then lived together for one year and nine months. Carolyn also alleges that before the move, Turner promised her mother that he intended to marry her.

After she moved from Iowa to Indiana to be with him, Carolyn says the relationship took a rough turn, with conflicts arising about finances and the cleanliness of the home. The final blow came when Turner commented on her weight as she was packing to attend his high school reunion in 2019. "I’m not taking you to the reunion looking like that," he allegedly told her, a comment that eventually led to their breakup.

the golden bachelor

(Image credit: John Fleenor/DISNEY via Getty Images)

Carolyn also recalled her response to seeing Turner on The Golden Bachelor, where he's been presented as a chaste, still-grieving widower. Prior to the series premiere, the star had admitted to having only one pre-show kiss. However, an October report from The Sun also alleged that Turner had dated "a couple of women for a decent amount of time" before the show.

"I’m like, what?" Carolyn says of her response to Gerry's early claim that he hadn't been kissed for six years. "He’s got to know that people are paying attention to this show. I’m just flabbergasted."

the golden bachelor

(Image credit: John Fleenor/DISNEY via Getty Images)

Neither Turner nor ABC have responded to the report at the time of writing. It's unknown whether the allegations will be addressed during the Golden Bachelor's season finale, which airs on Thursday, November 30, at 8 p.m. ET.

"Whether they never learned about these discrepancies or ignored them to sell a buffed-up, shinier storyline for greater impact, producers presented an incomplete and misleading image of Turner, which the bachelor helped perpetuate in personal remarks," the report says.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.