Neil Lane Calls Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's Love Story 'Inspirational' amid Divorce: 'Hope They Figure It Out'

The legacy jewelry designer said 'The Golden Bachelor' stars made "a great couple" ahead of their three-month marriage and divorce announcement

<p>John Fleenor/Disney via Getty; Disney/Brian Bowen Smith</p> Neil Lane, Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist.

John Fleenor/Disney via Getty; Disney/Brian Bowen Smith

Neil Lane, Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist.

Neil Lane was “shocked” to learn Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist are divorcing — much like The Golden Bachelor fandom.

“I hope they figure it out – I think they can,” the celebrated jewelry designer tells PEOPLE. “I don't think they were fooling anybody. I don't think they needed to. I think they were a great couple.”

The franchise’s go-to ring designer for over a decade, Lane remembers some of the specific attributes that made Turner, 74, and Nist, 70, a great couple off-screen. “They matched physically and spiritually. It was inspirational,” he says. “I think it's a great, great experience to show people over 70 looking for love and this won’t diminish that. I think it's still going to inspire people.”

Related: Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's Marriage Was Rocky from the Start: 'It Was Never Going to Work' (Source)

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Gerry Turner and Neil Lane on season 1 of The Golden Bachelor.

Disney/John Fleenor

Gerry Turner and Neil Lane on season 1 of The Golden Bachelor.

Turner and Nist announced their decision to “dissolve” their marriage on April 12 while speaking with Good Morning America. They chalked it up to a difference in location goals, noting their plan to move to South Carolina together had fallen through.

The news comes on the heels of two public interactions that saw Turner and Nist seemingly in love. One was The Bachelor finale on March 25, and more recently the pair stepped out for a Hulu on Disney+ red carpet on April 5.

Lane remembers seeing the pair on March 25 during The Bachelor finale, noting no dramatic changes in the way they interacted. “I had specifically asked both of them when I saw them at the finale how was it going, and they seemed like puppy dogs still in love and he said he has never been happier, and she just gushed and smiled and appeared very, very happy and positive,” Lane says.

Related: Golden Bachelor Bombshell! Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist Divorcing After 3 Months of Marriage

Through his role on The Bachelor franchise, Lane gets to interact with the show leads later in the season — specifically to help them choose the perfect engagement ring. Lane, for one, hasn’t given up hope there’s still romance between them.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are still very much in love,” he says. Speaking of the stress of navigating real life — especially blending families and adjusting location and priorities — he adds, “ Love can be blinding in its beginnings, and you think it’ll just work out but I can see uniting two extended families being challenging.”

Turner and Nist backed up Lane’s assumption that the love between them hadn't died. “I still love this person. There’s no doubt in my mind, I still am in love with her. I root for her every day,” Turner said on GMA, pointing to Nist who gushed, “I still love him.”

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The Golden Bachelor is available to stream on Hulu.

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