“Golden Bachelor” Gerry Turner frequently discusses his heartbreak over his wife Toni’s death. However, he has dated several women since his wife died. In fact, he was on vacation with a former girlfriend when the “Golden Bachelor” producers called to say he was chosen as the show’s lead, Turner told Access Hollywood.
The details about Turner’s post-Toni dating life also come from his friend, Heather Lanning, who works at The Shady Nook near his Indiana home, and his 91-year-old father.
In addition, a former girlfriend of Turner’s given the name “Carolyn” told The Hollywood Reporter that Turner wouldn’t got to his high school reunion with her when she gained 10 pounds and made her pay for half of her meals when they went out for dinner on regular occasions.
Turner has narrowed down the contestants to two finalists, Theresa Nist and Leslie Fhima. However, according to his father’s interview, he’s not unfamiliar with having to pick between two women in the past.
However, Turner has dealt with lonely times since his wife’s death too. The New York Times reported that Turner texted his daughters to reveal he had applied for “The Golden Bachelor” in 2020 during a “period of loneliness,” and at first they thought he was joking.
He insisted to Access Hollywood that he’s on the show for the right reason because he really wants to find a partner.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gerry Turner Was on Vacation in Florida With an Ex Girlfriend When He Was Chosen to Be the ‘Golden Bachelor’
Turner told Access Hollywood that he was on vacation in February and got a call that he was in line to be the Golden Bachelor and “I have to go immediately to a clinic for an STD test.” He responded, “Really, right now? I’m sort of on vacation.”
It’s normal protocol for the show contestants to have to go through such a test, and Turner said he passed.
He said he was “with a former girlfriend actually. We’ve remained good friends.”
Turner said of the ex girlfriend: “She looked at me, like ‘What the hell?'”
Turner said she knew he was “in this process.” He said he wanted the background check to “wait until tomorrow,” and he noted that he passed the STD test.
“She has clearly stated she wants nothing to do with this,” he said, when the Access Hollywood host asked if the ex girlfriend could stage a reappearance on the show.
Live Mint reported that Turner was on vacation in Florida when he got the call.
Gerry Turner’s Friend Said He Was ‘With a Couple of Women for a Decent Amount of Time’
Lanning told the Sun that Turner “was with a couple of women for a decent amount of time, but it just didn’t work out.”
She said the relationships didn’t work out because “I think it goes back to whether you’re there for the right reason or not,” but she did not explain what she meant.
According to Lanning, Turner met the women at the Shady Nook or was introduced to them and wasn’t on “dating apps.”
Turner told Access Hollywood that being the Golden Bachelor was “fun.” For several years after Toni died, he told “Access Hollywood” that he found it hard to embrace her suggestion that he be happy after she died.
“I’m tired of being alone. I don’t want to be by myself anymore,” Turner told Access Hollywood.
Gerry Turner’s Dad Says He Dated a Woman He Rejected in High School for His Wife, Toni, After Toni Died
The Sun also exclusively spoke with Turner’s dad, Everett Turner, who is 91. He told the site that Gerry Turner “had two girlfriends in high school, Toni and another young girl.”
He picked Toni after his mother insisted he pick, the father told The Sun.
“His mother told him, ‘You can’t do that son. You got to pick out one or the other.’ He picked Toni,” Everett Turner told The Sun.
According to Turner’s dad, when Toni died, his son dated the woman he had rejected for Toni in high school, but it didn’t work out.
“After Toni passed away, he dated this girl. They would go to lunch. She lives in another state. It was nothing serious. He just dated her,” Everett Turner told The Sun.
Turner himself told the story a bit differently. He told People Magazine that before he and Toni dated, while in high school, he was actually interested in her best friend, but “the best friend had absolutely no interest in me.”
He told People, “I remember standing there, chatting with Toni, and talking about her best friend. All of a sudden, I thought, ‘Well, what the heck? This gal seems really nice and a good conversationalist.’”
He told the magazine that they first went to a dance: “Back then in Ottumwa, Iowa, which is where I lived, the big deal every Friday was a dance at the YMCA; there’d be a band and so forth. So I asked Toni out the first time to a dance at the YMCA. We pretty much dated regularly for the next four or five years.” They married in 1972, had two children together, and then she died in 2017.