‘Golden Bachelor’ stars Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist could lose out on big payday because of divorce: experts

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In filing for divorce, “Golden Bachelor” couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist are not only losing out on love, but also a lucrative business venture.

Turner won the title of the first “Golden Bachelor” when the show premiered last fall, and at the end of the season, he proposed to Nist. They were married in January, then announced their divorce this week. The two stand to lose out on countless money-making opportunities with the quick split.

Brand expert Eric Schiffer spoke to Fox News Digital about the “tremendous” impact the divorce will likely have on Turner and Nist’s potential earnings in their newfound fame, saying, “They can expect their business opportunities to explode into bits. The business opportunities have just met a golden destruction — sudden death, let’s put it that way.”


A photo of Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner are divorcing after three months of marriage. (John Fleenor/Disney via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“They went ahead because of all the benefits,” he theorized. “They probably got a bonus and other things, they got the wedding additional monies, and now ‘The Golden Bachelor’ looks like a giant dud as a show.”

Doug Eldridge of Achilles PR spoke to Fox News Digital about the kind of things the former couple could have taken part in together, and what kind of income they could have potentially made as husband and wife.

As Eldridge explained, when it comes to reality stars, it’s difficult to pinpoint who will make a lasting impact on pop culture and who will be a flash in the pan. 

“For every Bethenny Frankel — who left ‘The Real Housewives’ and went on to launch the billion-dollar Skinny Girl Cocktails brand — there’s a long list of names we easily forgot and never heard from again,” he said.

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner kissing

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist fell in love while filming “The Golden Bachelor.” (John Fleenor/DISNEY / Getty Images)

“Lisa Vanderpump is another example of reality stars cashing in on the success of their shows,” he continued. “In 2013, she split from the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise and launched her own show, ‘Vanderpump Rules.’ Ten years later, the show was nominated for its first Emmy, with Vanderpump credited as an executive producer.”

“Her net worth is estimated to be close to $100 million and her reality TV stardom has created leveraged exposure for the restaurants and bars that she owns with her husband,” Eldridge added.


While reality stars like Vanderpump have been on the map for several years, Turner and Nist are much newer to the scene. Turner, 72, and Nist, 70, both lived very normal lives before finding love on national television. He enjoyed a successful career in the restaurant business before retiring at 55, after which he began giving back to his community by doing handyman jobs, and she still works in the financial industry.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist after tying the knot

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner’s January wedding was livestreamed to fans. (Eric McCandless/Disney via Getty Images / Getty Images)

It’s been just over six months since they were thrust into the spotlight for the first time, and in those months, they’ve gotten married and subsequently made the decision to divorce. While that makes it especially difficult to gauge what their impact as a couple might have been, Eldridge told Fox News Digital that some reality stars are capable of pulling in million-dollar paydays.

“High-end reality TV stars, like Kim Kardashian, are believed to draw $2 million-plus per social media post,” he explained, “but the smart money comes from using your celebrity to promote your own brand. The Rock used his profile to launch the now billion-dollar Teremana Tequila, and he’s doing the same with his own ZOA energy drink.”

Eldridge added, “Instead of raking in a one-off $2-$3 million fee for one social post, they’re using their platform to drive sales for a brand, which they either created or hold a large equity stake. If it takes off, the ultimate payday could be anywhere from $20 million to $1 billion.”

Schiffer said that he has celebrity clients that pull in “hundreds of thousands of dollars per post and more for endorsements,” and said that Turner and Nist “had the ability to do extremely well.”

Gerry Turner

Gerry Turner could have capitalized on his fame had he stayed married, a brand expert tells Fox News Digital. (Taylor Hill/WireImage / Getty Images)

With the divorce news, he says that “most brands would rather deal with people that have been recently charged with crimes than to get involved” with them.

“They could have pocketed an easy half a million to a couple million dollars,” Schiffer said, but instead they can expect to hear “a giant sucking sound in their bank accounts.”

One definite loss the couple will experience is that of the engagement ring. When Turner and Nist gave a joint interview to “Good Morning America” on Friday to announce the divorce, they confirmed that they’d have to return the ring to ABC, as the network provided it for the show.

“I think that’s the rule,” Nist admitted about the need to give it back.

“But you know what?” Turner said. “We don’t have to give back the memories.”

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist at the alter

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner had trouble deciding where to live after getting married. (Eric McCandless/Disney via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Nist’s engagement ring was designed by famed jeweler Neil Lane. People shared that the ring, which Lane personally handcrafted, showcased a princess cut diamond surrounded by two baguette cut diamonds, with 128 smaller round diamonds rounding out the design. It has a total weight of 3.15 carats and is estimated to be worth around $40,000.

It was also revealed in the interview that Turner and Nist had a prenuptial agreement, something they “highly recommend” others do before getting married.

The primary reason for the divorce, they explained, wasn’t because they don’t love each other, but because they simply couldn’t make the relationship work.


As Turner explained, “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.”

A photo of Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner

Theresa Nist and Gerry Truner attended an event together earlier this month. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

“The thing that strikes me the most in our conversations, it’s been how dedicated both of us are to our families,” Nist said. “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.”

Turner is based in Indiana, while Nist lives and works in New Jersey. Earlier this month, TMZ and other outlets reported that Turner and Nist were still living in separate homes after getting married.

Originally, the couple planned to move to Charleston, South Carolina. Turner has said that he had always wanted to live in the city, and Nist has a child that lives in the area, but the plan ultimately fell through.


“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,” Nist explained.