'Golden Bachelor's Gerry Turner Was Open With Contestants About Relationship After Wife's Death: Source

After allegations that Turner lied about a prior relationship after his wife's death, a source tells ET it was the opposite.

Despite claims that The Golden Bachelor's Gerry Turner wasn't honest about his not-so-golden romantic past, a source close to the situation tells ET that the statements alleging the 72-year-old lied about a prior relationship after the death of his wife are untrue.

"Gerry was open with the golden women in the house about his approximately year-and-a-half-long relationship with the woman referred to as 'Carolyn,'" the source claims.

The alleged relationship in question was revealed in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. The outlet reported that despite the elaborate vetting process that ABC put the retired restaurateur through, several alleged inconsistencies contradict the narrative painted of Gerry's work history and recent romantic entanglements.

A woman, referred to only as Carolyn in the article, claimed that she began a nearly three-year relationship with Gerry just a month after his wife's death in 2017. "The idea that I'd go out with a recent widower just mortifies me," Carolyn said. "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, who is 14 years Gerry's junior, claimed that she moved in with Gerry for a year and nine months and alleged that he promised her mother that he planned to marry her.

Disney/John Fleenor

According to THR, Carolyn claimed that the Gerry depicted on ABC's reality series differs from the one she was in a relationship with. She alleged that he made several unreasonable demands, including that she make the bed before breakfast every day.

Among the allegations, Carolyn claimed that Gerry denied her a chance to accompany him to a high school reunion because she'd put on weight. And, when she suffered an injury right after they broke up, Carolyn said Gerry accused her of trying to "prolong her stay" in the home they shared.

"I really wish this would've worked out," she claimed the widower told her as she left Gerry's house on Big Long Lake for a hotel. "Call me when you get to your hotel, so I know you made it safe."

The picture painted of Gerry is a starkly different depiction than fans have received since the widower and father of two was announced as the inaugural leading man for The Bachelor's senior spinoff series in July. 

ABC's press release revealed that Gerry married his high school sweetheart, Toni, in 1974, and they shared daughters Angie and Jenny and granddaughters Charlee and Payton. Since his role was announced, the Indiana resident has been candid about his marriage to Toni, who died in 2017 after becoming ill just six weeks after she retired.

Telling ET that they had a "typical but beautiful life, full of love, full of activity," Gerry shared that he and his late wife closed on their dream house the same day that Toni retired. 

"From June 6 on, it didn't go according to plan at all. She became ill and her situation got worse over a couple of weeks," Gerry said, choking up as he recounted the difficult period. "We went to the emergency room and she had a bacterial infection that infected her kidneys and infected her liver. I took my wife to the emergency room on July 7. She passed away on July 15."

"Being a bit of a hothead as she was, she'd say, 'Get the hell out there and get going with this.' But I think in reality, she'd be thrilled for this," Gerry added. "We talked frequently as time went on... about what we expected for the other if one of us didn't live forward, and it was, like, we both wanted the other to be happy. She would be very encouraging."

When speaking about his life after Toni died, Gerry was candid about being consumed by his grief.

"After Toni passed away, there were many, many dark days. And I keep thinking, 'OK, I'm better. I'm to the point where I'm OK,'" he told ET. "And finally, you know I haven't shared this very much, but it was about three years in and I have a good friend that recommended a grief counselor. So I went and had a couple visits with the grief counselor and the guy told me, 'You're OK.'"

While talking to People in September, Gerry shared that he had tried dating after Toni's death, but the relationships didn't work out.

He said, "I've dated a number of times since Toni's passed, more recently than back closer to when she's passed. One failure led to another for a variety of reasons. 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. It was actually about three and a half or four years, I just finally realized that, 'OK, I'm happy with myself. If I am going to be alone, I can deal with it.'"

Disney/John Fleenor

"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," he later told the outlet.

Heather Lanning-Adams, a woman who claims to be Gerry's good friend, shared a similar version of events with the U.S. Sun last month.

Heather, a former waitress at a bar and restaurant located next to Gerry's lake house, told the outlet that while Gerry dated before joining the show, he could never find love again. 

"He dated a couple of women. They weren't long-term, but they weren't short-term either," she shared. "He was with a couple of women for a decent amount of time, but it just didn't work out... I think it goes back to whether you're there for the right reason or not."

As for the alleged contradictions concerning his work, the widower has never tried to hide his various sales and management positions. Gerry's LinkedIn profile has always been available to view.

ET has reached out to ABC and Gerry for comment on Carolyn's claims.

The Golden Bachelor will air its season finale on Nov. 30. Follow along Gerry Turner's journey for love with ET's coverage of the show. 

RELATED CONTENT:

Latest News