The 72-year-old’s journey to find love has been praised for showing that older people still want love and romance in their life.
Turner’s wife of 43 years died after a short illness, and he told Entertainment Tonight that, prior to the show, he hadn’t dated in 45 years.
But The Hollywood Reporter claims the reality is quite different.
A month after his wife died, THR reports that Turner started a relationship with a woman 14 years his junior who was a staff accountant at a mental health center in Davenport, Iowa, where he worked as a maintenance man.
“Carolyn,” as the outlet called the woman, who requested anonymity, said that the relationship started after Turner asked her if she could help him donate his deceased wife’s corporate wardrobe to Dress for Success.
He took her to dinner as a thank-you and quickly made moves at romance, allegedly sending her a text message to her that read, “I got LUCKY when you first said you would go to dinner with me two weeks ago. I mean how often does an old geezer get the beautiful girl?”
In another text reviewed by THR, he told her, “You are the right woman for me. No need to look further.”
Carolyn told the publication that she didn’t see the signs right away.
“The idea that I’d go out with a recent widower just mortifies me,” she 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.”
The couple dated for 10 months before she moved into his lake house in Indiana, where she lived with him for nearly two years. Turner has not mentioned the relationship on the show.
Carolyn said she has also noticed that some of the lines Turner has said to the show’s contestants sound similar to things he said to her.
For instance, the outlet shared one purported text from Sept. 2, 2017, in which Turner tells Carolyn that he goes “to bed at night thinking of you and wake up in the morning thinking of you.” The sentiment is similar to when he tells contestant Leslie Fhima that he has “to have you with my morning coffee, I have to have you when I go to bed at night…”
Carolyn said her relationship with Turner went sour in October 2019. She says Turner said he did not want to take her to his high school reunion “looking like that” after she had gained 10 pounds from stress.
Turner then told Carolyn to be out of the house by New Year’s Day 2020 and volunteered to reimburse her for the U-Haul.
However, while packing, she fell down the stairs and had to get foot surgery.
Carolyn said that Turner accused her of using the fall as a pretext to stay in the house. He then made her get a hotel room for a week.
“I really wish this would’ve worked out,” she said Turner told her. “Call me when you get to your hotel, so I know you made it safe.”
Carolyn’s friends and relatives also corroborated her account of the relationship to the outlet.
Turner and ABC, which airs “The Golden Bachelor,” both declined to comment on the allegations in the Hollywood Reporter article. HuffPost reached out to ABC for comment, but no one immediately responded.
Carolyn wasn’t Turner’s only partner between his wife’s death and the show.
Turner’s friend, Heather Lanning-Adams, told THR that he dated a couple of women during that period.
“They weren’t all long-term, but they … weren’t short-term either. … He was with a couple of women for a decent amount of time, but it just didn’t work out,” she said.
Read the complete story at The Hollywood Reporter.