The Golden Bachelor runner-up Leslie Fhima has revealed what Gerry Turner allegedly told her off-camera in the Fantasy Suite that left her feeling 100 percent confident she was The One for Gerry.
Gerry devastated and crushed Leslie’s heart when he eliminated her in second place on The Golden Bachelor in favor of his winner, Theresa Nist, to whom he ultimately proposed marriage at the Final Rose Ceremony in Costa Rica.
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Leslie burst into tears and sobbed at the time of her ouster because she had no doubt in her mind and heart that Gerry was going to pick her, and so she confronted Gerry on the live After the Final Rose special about how she felt betrayed and misled.
Leslie told Gerry on ABC’s November 30 broadcast, “Only you and I know what was said on the overnight. I’d never share that with anyone; it was our private time. But those words gave me 100 percent certainty that I was your girl and we were going to get engaged.”
Leslie dropped tidbits about what Gerry had told her behind closed doors in the Fantasy Suite during the December 4 episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast.
“Everybody knows what [Gerry] said on-camera, but it was off-camera in our overnight that only him and I know what was said,” Leslie told the podcast’s co-hosts, Bachelor in Paradise spouses Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt.
“I don’t want to say everything that he said, but it was 100 percent certainty when I woke up the next morning that I was going to be it.”
Joe pointed out how Gerry and Theresa have said in post-show press interviews that Gerry basically let Theresa know in the Fantasy Suite he had picked her and essentially proposed marriage to her before the Final Rose Ceremony.
“[Did he] propose to me? Well, he made plans with me for the future. He said, kind of like, ‘Save the date. This is what we’re going to do. I can’t wait for us — just two more days and we’ll be done with this,'” Leslie recalled.
“[Gerry said], ‘We’ll be together and start our life.’ Did he say in there, ‘Will you marry me?’ No. But he all BUT said that.”
The 64-year-old fitness instructor from Minneapolis, MN, vented about how she “would’ve been happy with” a simple, “I love you” from Gerry.
“But he took it to a different level,” Leslie claimed.
“And when we woke up the next morning and he left, he turned around three times and blew me kisses. He didn’t want to leave, and that’s why I wasn’t worried that he was going on a date! I just knew that he had to get through the motions of it.”
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Leslie reiterated how she felt “100 percent sure” that she was “it” for Gerry.
“I mean, he didn’t say, ‘I have such a hard decision to make.’ Nothing like that. So I just didn’t think [he’d pick Theresa],” Leslie said.
Serena pointed out to Leslie how viewers had watched Gerry tell Leslie, “I think you’re The One,” before cameras left the former couple alone in the Fantasy Suite.
Leslie admitted it was “a relief” and she was “excited” to hear Gerry talk about their future together in the Fantasy Suite.
“We talked for hours, and there was so much I wanted to tell him about me. And he wanted to tell me about him,” Leslie shared.
“So it was great. I felt closer to him, like, ‘This is it.’ It was really nice because that’s why I went and picked out [an expensive] dress and why I wrote my vows, because I was 100 percent certain.”
And Leslie continued, “There were things he said to me in the overnight that alluded to his [next] overnight with Theresa, that it was not going to be the same.”
Leslie confessed to Joe and Serena that there was no part of her that thought Gerry was going to lean the other way after having alone time with Theresa.
“I didn’t,” Leslie said. “And I don’t go through life, like, ‘I’ve got this!’ I go through life going, ‘I might have it.'”
Leslie insisted she’s actually a cautiously optimistic person who doesn’t “assume” or ever get ahead of herself.
“I never assumed this whole journey,” she noted.
“I was just like, ‘I’m going to stay in my lane. I’m going to focus on what I have with Gerry. I don’t want to hear the chatter.’ And yeah, so, I kind of left that morning [of the Fantasy Suite] confident and good.”
When asked how she would’ve handled saying, “I love you,” had she been the Golden Bachelorette, Leslie said, “I for sure would never tell anyone I love them until I’m on that platform with them and I know it. I just wouldn’t do that.”
Leslie elaborated, “I would never want to hurt anyone the way that I was hurt or blindside them.”
Leslie explained how her heart is “precious” to her and that it took her a lot to be so vulnerable with Gerry.
“I’m not just going to give it to anybody. When you say, ‘I love you,’ to somebody, it means something. And I don’t just throw those words around… They meant something to me, to say it to Gerry,” Leslie said.
Leslie confirmed that Gerry warned her he had professed his love to his third-place finisher, Faith Martin, but she apparently didn’t know he also expressed his love to Theresa.
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Leslie also said she believes Gerry had been set on selecting her until his overnight date with Theresa.
When Gerry dumped Leslie in her hotel room in Costa Rica before the Final Rose Ceremony, Gerry told her, “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.”
(Leslie said on “Bachelor Happy Hour” that she thought Gerry’s delivery was very “harsh.”)
In the heat of the moment, Leslie told Gerry in reply, “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 Gerry where she or they had gone wrong, and The Golden Bachelor star assured her that nothing was 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.”
Leslie cried about how she was totally heartbroken and was going to be embarrassed in front of the world.
“You didn’t choose me… The other night, you made it sound like you chose me!” Leslie lamented to Gerry, adding, “You said things to me that made me think this was going to be it. You led me down a path and then you took a turn and you left me there!”
Leslie said it was actually “mind boggling” how Gerry could tell her that he loved her and then completely change his mind about 12 hours later.
Leslie explained to The Golden Bachelor host Jesse Palmer on After the Final Rose how she had envisioned a life with Gerry after the show in which they’d walk his dog together and go out to restaurants, both in Indianapolis and Minneapolis.
“You were the person I believed was my person until I suddenly knew you weren’t,” The Golden Bachelor star confessed on After the Final Rose.
“It didn’t really go wrong, Leslie, it was just better with someone else. It was the right person in another direction, and I’m so terribly sorry. I’ll never forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused along the way.”
Gerry reminded Leslie that he’s only human and wished he had handled things in a better way.
“I don’t know if I accept your apology, but I understand it,” Leslie concluded.
Gerry, meanwhile, is still happily engaged to Theresa, and the couple has plans to move to South Carolina together.
Gerry, however, has been facing backlash and scrutiny for allegedly lying about having a three-year, live-in girlfriend shortly after his wife, Toni, passed away in 2017.
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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.