Gerry Turner’s dad wanted ‘The Golden Bachelor’ star to pick Leslie Fhima, “didn’t care” for Theresa Nist


The Golden Bachelor star Gerry Turner’s father, Everett, has dropped a bombshell that he actually wanted Gerry to end up with Leslie Fhima instead of Theresa Nist.

In support of Gerry’s journey to find love on television, Everett, 92, and his 91-year-old wife Norma — who is Gerry’s stepmother — watched every episode of The Golden Bachelor, along with their friends in Fort Wayne, Indiana, according toThe Sun.


But Everett admitted that he wasn’t rooting for Theresa to win Gerry’s heart. On the contrary, he had been hoping Gerry would pick Leslie as his winner.

“I had Leslie picked out. For some reason, I just didn’t care for Theresa,” Everett told The Sun.

“I was 60 percent for Leslie and 40 percent for Theresa. I couldn’t say why. Right off the bat, Theresa rubbed me the wrong way.”

However, Gerry, 72, ultimately selected Theresa as The One, and he proposed marriage to her during the Final Rose Ceremony in Costa Rica, which aired Thursday, November 30 on ABC.

“But it don’t matter,” Everett said of his personal pick for Gerry. “Now I have to change my tune! [Theresa] is marrying my son. I’m bound to like her.”

Everett went on to joke, “If she don’t make him happy, I’ll probably kick her in the butt!”

He then clarified, “I like Theresa. There is not a problem with me not liking her. All I want is for [Gerry] to be happy. Whatever he decides to do, I’ll back him 100 percent.”

But while Everett was Team Leslie, Norma apparently saw Theresa’s connection with Gerry and had the 70-year-old bachelorette “picked out from the very start.”

Norma, who goes by her middle name Peggy, told The Sun, “I thought so because they had so much in common.”

Gerry and Theresa, for example, each had a great loss in their life.


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Gerry’s wife, Toni, had passed away in 2017 from a bacterial infection after 43 years of marriage, and Theresa lost her husband, Billy, in 2014 from kidney failure after 42 years of marriage.

Gerry and Theresa also had the first one-on-one date of the season, which turned out to be both emotional and a blast.

“[Gerry’s] two daughters and [one of his granddaughters] seemed to like her last night,” Norma shared of Theresa. “They are his pride and joy, so he’s listening to them.”


Now that Gerry and Theresa are engaged and planning their January 4, 2024 wedding — which will be televised on ABC — Everett and Norma are awaiting their official invitation.

Gerry and his fiancee recently told Katie Couric on her YouTube channel that the wedding will be in the Los Angeles area, and Everett confirmed of his son’s upcoming nuptials, “We’ll go anywhere.”

He added, “If he feels she’s The One he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he might as well go ahead and get married.”

And Norma agreed, pointing out that because of their age, they’re “not getting any younger” and they wouldn’t pass up such an opportunity.

Everett and Norma, however, had to wait until The Golden Bachelor finale to find out whom Gerry had selected as his winner. Per contract with ABC, the happy couple had to keep the news of their relationship and their engagement a secret as to not potentially spoil the show’s ending.

“I am always tickled to see him,” Norma gushed of her stepson. “I have always been proud of him. Not only for this Bachelor thing. He’s been terrific.”

Given Everett had initially pegged Leslie as the right match for Gerry, he may have had a hard time watching Gerry and the personal trainer’s breakup in Costa Rica.

After Leslie met Gerry’s family, she was convinced that her future was going to have Gerry in it, but she could tell that something was “off” with him and he had shut down on her. Instead of kissing Leslie, Gerry just wanted a hug.

And when the pair had their final date of the season in Leslie’s hotel room, Gerry failed to give Leslie any verbal reassurance or validation.

“You make me feel whole,” Leslie told Gerry.

“Thanks for that,” The Golden Bachelor star replied.

“I honestly can’t imagine being without you now,” Leslie shared.

“Mmm, that’s huge,” Gerry oddly responded.

“Anything else you want to tell me? Anything else you want me to hear?” Gerry asked.

“I love you very, very much,” Leslie said.

“That’s such a special sentiment,” The Golden Bachelor star noted. “I can feel it.”

Leslie could clearly tell that Gerry’s attitude toward her had changed, and so she started crying.


As tears streamed down Leslie’s face and he hugged her, all he could manage to say was, “Be happy,” and then it was time for him to go.

When Leslie walked Gerry out and they had an emotional and tearful embrace by the door, Leslie asked him flat out if he had something he wanted to tell her.

The Golden Bachelor star shook his head and just repeated how he had a “tough” decision to make and it was harder than he “ever thought possible.”

Once Gerry left, Leslie had lost all of her confidence and she cried in her hands, and then Gerry sat on a staircase outside and just bawled his eyes out.

Knowing that Leslie had recognized something was off between them, Gerry returned to Leslie’s room and said, “When you left, you asked me if there was something I had to say to you.”

“Go ahead,” Leslie said.

“It’s been very difficult and I’ve made a decision about how I want to go about this, and I have fallen in love with Theresa, and that’s the direction I’m going to take,” Gerry revealed.

Leslie shook her head and said, “So everything you told me the other night was a lie!”

“No, it wasn’t a lie,” The Golden Bachelor star insisted.

“Yeah it was,” Leslie clapped back. “Everything you told me the other night was a lie. Everything you told me the other night was a complete and utter lie!”

“No,” Gerry argued. “Because at that time, that was the truth. Things have changed and things have evolved.”

Leslie asked where she or they went wrong, and The Golden Bachelor star assured her that nothing went wrong.

“You’re both wonderful, but only one of you is right,” Gerry explained. “Leslie, I’m so sorry. Had I known this was the pain I would cause someone, I would’ve never taken the first step of this journey.”

The Golden Bachelor star said there was probably nothing he could say or do to make her feel better, and Leslie confirmed that he was right.

But Gerry has insisted in press-show interviews that Theresa is the right woman for him, and they’re planning to move to South Carolina together.


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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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