Gerry Turner came face to face with his ex Leslie Fhima for the first time since their heartbreaking split.
Gerry, 72, and Leslie, 64, sat down to rehash their relationship during the After the Final Rose segment of the Golden Bachelor season 1 finale, which aired on Thursday, November 30.
After a long hug, Leslie told Gerry that she’s “much better” than the day that he ended things — but still took the opportunity to call him out.
“I just want to tell you, Gerry, that I fell in love with you for so many reasons. I really did. I mean, the way you looked at me and your eyes sparkled, the way her nose prickled when you talked to me, the way we made each other laugh all the time. You got my stupid humor. I was myself with you co completely,” she said. “The most important thing I fell in love with was your integrity. And because of your integrity, your words meant so much to me. I didn’t take them for granted. I took them and I put them in my heart, OK? And everybody knows what you said on camera. But only you and I know it was said in [during the] overnight. And I would never share that with anyone. It’s our private time. But those words gave me 100 percent certainty that I was your girl. … And your words just meant so much to me, and that’s why I was blindsided. Because I wasn’t sure how it changed or what happened.”
Earlier in the episode, Gerry sent Leslie home after he confirmed that he had stronger feelings for Theresa Nist.
“I’ve worked hard to try and learn as much about you and as much about Theresa that I possibility could. You’re both wonderful, but only one of you is right,” Gerry said.
Leslie was quick to get emotional and accused Gerry of misleading her and lying to her. “You made it sound like you chose me,” she said. “You led me down a path and then you took a turn and left me there.”
During AFR, Gerry was quick to apologize. “I’m so sorry, Leslie. I’m so sorry. And when I came onto the show, my head was ready to go through the process [and] send people home,” he said. “But what I realized is my heart wasn’t ready. And with each passing rose ceremony and, especially with you, it became more and more difficult.”
Gerry added that he didn’t want to “hurt anyone” but got caught up in the process. “You were the person I believed was my person until I suddenly knew you weren’t,” he said. “And you asked, or you mentioned, you don’t know where it went wrong. It didn’t really go wrong, Leslie. It just was better with someone else. It was the right person in another direction.”
Leslie noted that she doesn’t know if she accepts his apology, but she “understand[s] it.”
Prior to the finale, host Jesse Palmer teased Gerry and Leslie’s reunion. “I think this will be the most emotional AFR that the franchise has ever seen,” he exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “I really believe it.”
Palmer also addressed the conversation he had with Gerry after he ended things with Leslie, in which the lead confessed he had not been that upset since his wife, Toni, died.
“It was just a moment where I think Gerry just needed someone to talk to, and he needed to vent and talk about his feelings,” Palmer explained. “And for me, the only advice in those situations is just trying to reassure him that it’s all going to be worth it and that there’s an amazing woman that he gets to spend the rest of his life with on the other side of all of that. But that was about as intense, as real and as raw as it gets. And it was probably the most raw moment that I think I’ve been a part of since hosting the franchise.”
In the final weeks of Gerry’s journey, he told both of his final two women, Leslie and Theresa, that he loved them, making his eventual breakup from Leslie all the more difficult.
“He fell in love with multiple women all at the same time in different ways,” Palmer said. “Throughout the course of the season, [the goodbyes are] easily the most difficult part. And I think it usually is for most leads, but I think people are really going to see an emotional goodbye come the finale that they just haven’t seen yet. It’s pretty intense.”
Gerry, for his part, went into the process skeptical that he would fall in love with multiple women. “I thought, ‘No, that’s absolutely not possible. That’s silly.’ How wrong I was,” he told Us in September. “Because through the course of the journey, I really felt strong feelings for several of the women.”
After the fact, though, Gerry did not believe he was fully “in love” with more than one contestant.
“In retrospect, I realized that in that particular moment, whenever it was — the setting was such that, ‘Yeah, it was easy to look at someone and tell ‘em you loved ‘em,’” he revealed. “But once you get through it all and you look back, then you realize that there is just really one person that really meets the standard in all situations that you want it to be.”