Nick Viall on ‘Golden Bachelor’ controversy: Late wife’s ‘body was barely cold’ before dating again

Nick Viall stopped by Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast to share his take on the “Golden Bachelor” controversy surrounding its 72-year-old lead, Gerry Turner. 

“It’s tough to watch an entire season of Gerry selling this entire narrative that all he’s been doing since the passing of his wife was cry, play pickle ball and occasionally [have] this weird one-on-one moment with some hand lotion,” quips the “Viall Files” podcast host, 43, who fronted “The Bachelor” Season 21 in 2017. 

“And in reality, we come to find out that the body was barely cold before he started dating,” he continues. “And it opens up a lot of questions about what was going on.”

Turner’s character came into question last month when the Hollywood Reporter released an exposé claiming that he lied about his past — just one day before the “Golden Bachelor” finale aired, during which he handed his final rose to now-fiancée Theresa Nist.

Nick Viall shares his thoughts on the “Golden Bachelor” controversy during an appearance on Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast. Page Six

Per his ex, who went by Carolyn to maintain her anonymity, Turner had a live-in girlfriend, whom he dated for three years, shortly after the death of his wife. 


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This claim contradicted the emotional story Turner shared on ABC’s senior edition of the dating series in which he claimed he hadn’t been kissed since his wife’s 2017 death.

The character of ABC’s first “Golden Bachelor” Gerry Turner came into question last month when the Hollywood Reporter released an exposé claiming that he lied about his past. ABC
Per his ex, who went by Carolyn to maintain her anonymity, Turner had a live-in girlfriend, whom he dated for three years, shortly after the death of his wife — which contradicted the heart-wrenching story he sold on “The Golden Bachelor.” ABC

Viall doesn’t believe Turner should be shamed for jumping back into the dating pool. Still, he has “mixed feelings” due to the conflicting narratives. 

“The show itself sometimes tries to craft a narrative about their leads that even the leads are a little uncomfortable with because it almost feels like, ‘I’m not that squeaky clean,’ type of thing,” he explains. 

“Because no one really is, right, you know? So I think sometimes that is the fault of the show, this kind of narrative,” Viall elaborates. “He was allowed to date. He didn’t cheat on anyone from what we know.”

Viall, who fronted “The Bachelor” Season 21 in 2017, has “mixed feelings” over the conflicting Turner narratives. Disney General Entertainment Con

In THR’s reporting, Carolyn also recalled a moment during their relationship in which Turner allegedly refused to attend her high school reunion because of her weight gain.

“I’m not taking you to the reunion looking like that,” Carolyn claimed Turner said to her, referring to her body.

Their three-year relationship ended shortly after. 

Turner’s anonymous ex also accused him of weight-shaming her. ABC

Turner also allegedly used similar lines on both Carolyn and his “Golden Bachelor” competitors. 

According to the exposé, Turner allegedly texted Carolyn on Sept. 2, 2017, and said, “Damn, I go to bed at night thinking of you and wake up in the morning thinking of you.”

Speaking to Leslie Fhima, one of the two finalists on the show, Turner said, “I have to have you with my morning coffee, I have to have you when I go to bed at night…”

When asked to address the claims made in the THR article, Turner claimed to the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that he “really [didn’t] have time to think” about the allegations. 

Turner eventually proposed to finalist Theresa Nist on the senior edition of the dating series. The Walt Disney Company
The couple plans to tie the knot next month in a televised wedding ceremony. Disney

“My only response is that I have so many positive things in my life right now. I have the wonderful love of Theresa, my partner,” said the retired burger joint owner, who is planning to marry Nist, 70, in a televised wedding ceremony in January. 

Viall, for his part, thinks Turner should consider issuing an apology — and even provides a script for him to follow while chatting on “Virtual Reali-Tea.” 

“Gerry, if you’re listening … he should say is something like: ‘Hey, I’m sorry if I misled anyone about my dating life. It was something I thought a lot about. This is my first time doing it. I didn’t really know what to say,’” Viall offers. 

He says Turner should elaborate by saying, “‘That being said, more than anything, not only was this an opportunity to find love again but it was an opportunity to celebrate my wife and the love that we had. And I just really wanted to focus on her. And at the risk of misleading you about my dating life post-the death of my wife, it was worth it to me to just give her that attention.”

Viall is currently expecting a baby girl with his pregnant fiancée, Natalie Joy. nnataliejjoy/Instagram

Despite the off-camera drama, Viall — who is currently expecting a baby girl with his pregnant fiancée, Natalie Joy — applauds “The Golden Bachelor” for inciting hope in those who may feel lonely in their golden years. 

“This was a fantastic season. I think what it gave us was a lot of hope and optimism for all of us who are getting older who feel a little lonely in this world, who have had failed relationships or have lost loved ones,” he enthuses. 

“This season was very inspiring. And I don’t think Bachelor Nation or the audience really wanted to hear Gerry talk about his dating life post-the death of his wife. We wanted him to celebrate his wife, we wanted him to talk about that love. And so it just made better television.”