Gerry Turner Vows to 'Look Forward' amid Claims About His Dating Life as a Widower: 'I Don't Have Time' to Dwell

The first Golden Bachelor got engaged to Theresa Nist on the ABC dating series’ season finale on Thursday

<p>ABC/Brian Bowen Smith</p> Gerry Turner on

ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

Gerry Turner on 'The Golden Bachelor'

Gerry Turner is focused on his future with fiancée Theresa Nist.

When asked about claims The Golden Bachelor misrepresented his dating history as a widower, the retired restaurateur, 72, told the Los Angeles Times, “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 reality star, who plans to marry his fiancée next month live on ABC. “I don’t have time to reflect on comments like this. I’m happy to look forward.”

Turner’s comments come after The Hollywood Reporter reported last week that there were discrepancies in the reality star’s past. The outlet spoke to a woman who claimed to have a nearly three-year tumultuous relationship with Turner before he became the Golden Bachelor.

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner on 'The Golden Bachelor'

Disney/John Fleenor

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner on 'The Golden Bachelor'

Related: Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist Share Their Vision for Their January Wedding: 'It's Going to be Spectacular' (Exclusive)

Despite the controversy, Turner told the LA Times that he felt the show “accomplished something very meaningful and historic.”

“Because of how strong the women were and how much I enjoyed the journey, the message of hope, that at our age we were still meaningful and we can still find love, came out so strongly,” he shared. “That is the part of history that I hope carries on.”

He added: “Theresa and I have gotten so many letters from people who have said, ‘We’ve watched you on the show and we have developed so much confidence that we are going to go out there and date.’”

<p>ABC/Craig Sjodin</p> Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner on 'The Golden Bachelor'

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner on 'The Golden Bachelor'

Related: Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner Reflects on a Few 'Failures' Trying to Date After His Wife's Death (Exclusive)

Turner previously opened up to PEOPLE about his dating failures after the death of his wife Toni in 2017.

“I've dated a number of times since Toni's passed, more recently than back closer to when she's passed,” Turner shared. “For one reason or another, the attempts didn't work out. I could give you a wide range of reasons, but it doesn't really matter.”

Discouraged after putting himself back out there, Turner felt like he would never find love again.

“One failure led to another for a variety of reasons,” he said. “It was actually about three and a half or four years, I just finally realized that, ‘OK, I'm happy with myself. If I am going to be alone, I can deal with it.’”

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