High-Profile Cases

“The Golden Bachelor” Divorce: Despite Pre-Nup, Former Couple Takes Financial Hit

Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Those who follow reality-TV will be familiar with “The Golden Bachelor” – the spin-off of the established dating and relationship franchise that was started by “The Bachelor”, now in its 28th season.

It joins other reality shows like “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor in Paradise” in milking a well-trodden, but highly-popular formula:  Take an eligible single man or woman, introduce them to a list of romantic prospects, and watch the dating exploits (and drama) unfold. The televised season ends with them proposing marriage to one of the candidates – on camera of course.

What sets The Golden Bachelor apart, is that its participants are attractive seniors, all looking for “The One.”  The first season of the show focused on the handsome 72-year old Gerry Turner, who lost his first wife in 2017 after 43 years of marriage.

After winning, dining and wooing a roster of similarly-aged women, Gerry chose 70-year-old Theresa Nist as his blushing bride (she had also lost her spouse in 2017, after 42 years’ marriage).  He proposed to her on the November 30, 2023 finale of the show, and they married in early 2024 in a televised ceremony attended by other show contestants.

The entire season of The Golden Bachelor reportedly had impressive ratings, partly because it was considered relatively groundbreaking for the way it portrayed these sexually-active septuagenarian contestants in a positive light.

Well, it turns out that finding true love in your twilight years is not necessarily easier than when in your 20s.  The couple has now announced that only three months into their marital union, they have decided to divorce.

As reported by various media outlets such as USA Today, Gerry reports that he had Theresa had “a number of heart-to-heart conversations”, and came to the mutual conclusion that “it’s probably time to dissolve our marriage” – all the while insisting that they had not fallen out of love.  Apparently one of the sticking points in their relationship was deciding on where they were going to settle down.

Once the TV spotlight stops shining on them, the former couple won’t have too much to untangle:  It’s reported that they fortunately had put a pre-nuptial agreement in place, before they exchanged vows.  But that’s not the only financial repercussion of the relationship fallout:  In addition to missing out on finding true love, the former couple has also missed out on cashing in.

As speculated-on here by those who know the entertainment business, Gerry and Theresa’s divorce announcement will likely evaporate the many lucrative business opportunities that would otherwise have flowed from their time on the reality-TV stage. These include brand endorsements, celebrity appearances, promoting products (or just themselves) on social media, and becoming influencers.  Not to mention giving up the ego-boosting chance to make a lasting impact on pop culture, Kardashian-style.

According to the article, the couple would otherwise have expected to earn “an easy half a million to a couple million dollars” with little effort; if their post-wedding “brand” truly took off, their “ultimate payday could [have been] anywhere from $20 million to $1 billion.”  Instead, in the shadow of the relationship’s collapse, commentators have quipped that the “’Golden Bachelor’ looks like a giant dud as a show.”

The couple even had to give back the engagement ring that Gerry gave Theresa when he offered his hand in marriage – since it had been provided by ABC, the network that produces the entire series.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.