'The Golden Bachelor': Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist Are Divorcing

Turner said they 'didn't want to pretend to anybody.'

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner, who met on The Golden Bachelor, got engaged on the show, and then married on live television, are getting divorced. Three months after exchanging vows, the couple announced the news on Friday.

The 72-year-old Turner was the first "Golden Bachelor" in ABC's spinoff of the popular Bachelor and Bachelorette series. Twenty-two contestants between the ages of 60 and 75 vied for Turner's attention, and he ultimately proposed to Nist, 70.

"Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations, and we've looked closely at our situation, our living situation, so forth and -- and we've kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it's probably time for us to -- dissolve our marriage," Turner told Juju Chang on Good Morning America. "Get a divorce?" Chang asked. "Yes," Turner said.

"We have received so much love and support from so many people who watched 'The Golden Bachelor,' and I don't think we can tell you how many people told us that it gave them so much hope," Nist said. "We want none of that to change for anybody."

During the season 1 finale of NBC's The Golden Bachelor that aired on Nov. 30, Turner proposed to Nist. Each told GMA the morning after the finale that they had found their "person."

During the new interview, Turner said, "The thing that strikes me the most in our conversations, it's been how dedicated both of us are to our families … So we look at these situations, and I think we just feel like it's best for the happiness of each of us to, to live apart." When asked what went wrong after both said they were fully committed to making this work, Nist responded, "That was the plan."

While they reside in different locations—Turner is in Indiana, and Nist is in New Jersey—when they discussed the future of their relationship, he said they took into account their "living situation." "We looked at homes in South Carolina, we considered New Jersey, and we just looked at home after home, but we never got to the point where we made that decision."

Turner and Nist were both previously married to their high school sweethearts, both of whom passed away after spending more than 40 years together. The two told GMA that their past relationships and dating histories didn't influence their decisions.

"Gerry had already discussed that with me," Nist said. He had explained it to me before the report was ever released, so we were good with that." Despite the sudden nature of this announcement, Nist stated that "we didn't want to pretend to anybody."

Both parties will return their rings, "I think that's the rule," Nist said with a laugh. "But you know what? We don't have to give back the memories," Turner added.

During the filming of The Golden Bachelor in August 2023, the couple met and subsequently got married, with their wedding special, "The Golden Wedding," airing live on ABC on Jan. 4. Their children and grandchildren attended their wedding, as did several contestants from their season and past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

As they held hands during the interview, the two stressed that they had not fallen out of love. "I still love this person," Turner said. "There's no doubt in my mind I still am in love with her. I root for her every day." Nist added, "Yeah, I still love him."

They said their message for others looking for love later in life is to "'Stay in it, stay hopeful,'" Nist said, "because we are." The couple had a prenuptial agreement, which they highly recommend.

Additionally, Nist had some advice for the upcoming, unannounced Golden Bachelorette, "be authentic, be yourself." Both of them stated that they would continue their search for love.