“The Golden Bachelor” is the latest program to come out of ABC’s Bachelor Nation franchise. The show has attracted widespread praise for centering the romantic lives of an older demographic than usual, comprised of parents, grandparents, and widows who have lost their spouses. The show’s titular Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner has won the hearts of thousands of viewers for his perceived sincerity and depth. The program raked in a whopping 13.9 million viewers upon its debut, a new record previously held by the 2021 season of “The Bachelor.” Now, a new exposé from The Hollywood Reporter is testing this image of America’s favorite bachelor.
At the beginning of the season, Turner reflected upon the tragic passing of Toni Turner, his wife of 43 years. She passed away from a surprising bacterial infection just months after the couple had moved into their dream home on Big Long Lake in Hudson, Indiana. This back story at hand, Turner’s apparent willingness to listen to the female contestants on the show and sympathy towards several of the women who have lost their husbands rapidly had them confessing their feelings. Amid The Hollywood Reporter’s findings, however, Turner and Bachelor Nation producers appear to have left out some key details in his background.
An anonymous source under the name of Carolyn came forth to the Reporter alleging that Turner began a relationship with her only one month after his wife passed away. She additionally alleged that he upped her rent charges suddenly for her share of the lake house, and insulted her weight when she had gained ten pounds ahead of his high school reunion, resulting in him uninviting her from the event. Text messages between the two of them were also provided to the publication, in which Turner appears to use similar lines to what he has told a number of contestants on “The Golden Bachelor.” Turner also allegedly promised Carolyn’s mother that he intended to marry her, only to break his promise, similar to a recent scenario on the show.
One such message allegedly read “Damn, I go to bed at night thinking of you and wake up in the morning thinking of you.” Carolyn and her friends and relatives confirmed to the publication that Turner allegedly told her to vacate their lake house shortly after the breakup caused by his comments on her weight. Amid rushing to pack her things, she fell down the stairs and was hospitalized, with Turner then allegedly forcing her to stay at a hotel while accusing her of having intent to sue him.
The reason why this news is controversial is due to Turner’s claim on the show that he “hasn’t dated in 45 years,” when allegedly, he has.
This aside, Turner has dubbed himself a “retired restauranteur,” despite his LinkedIn depicting that he has not owned a restaurant since 1985, when he sold his Mr. Quick hamburger drive-in franchise in Iowa, where he’d worked his way up from high school. Post this sale, Turner allegedly retired from the business at 55, and went on to install hot tubs at Gannon Pools near Davenport, Iowa. He then worked as a maintenance man at the Vera French Mental Health Center, where he met Carolyn and later connected with her after the death of his wife.
Social Media Reactions
Some fans of Turner from “The Golden Bachelor” were shocked and disappointed that the reality television star’s honest persona might be at least partially fabricated.
Many Gen Z viewers were disappointed to see that even older generations of men display similar manipulation tactics to the thousands of similar stories women share online.
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“The Golden Bachelor” season finale airs tonight at 7 p.m. local time on ABC.