Yassie Safai is the 39-year-old socialite who is reportedly the reason why Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky are having relationship troubles. The allegations that Safai is involved in the break-up first appeared in The Sun on September 10. The tabloid’s report says that a “friendship” that was struck up between the 2016 U.S. Open champion and Safai “infuriated” Gretzky. A few days before the Sun’s report emerged, Gretzky removed all of her Instagram photos showing her with Johnson.
Johnson, 34, became engaged to Paulina Gretzky, 29, daughter of Wayne Gretzky, in August 2013 after seven months of dating. The couple has two sons together, Tatum, 3, and River, 1.
Heavy.com has reached out to Safai for comment on the story.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Safai Has Denied Rumors She Had an Affair With Johnson
Speaking to TMZ, Safai denied that she had an affair with Johnson. The same TMZ report says Johnson and Gretzki are still together. Safai told TMZ, “I am not in a relationship with Dustin Johnson. Nor have we had any relationship. I met Dustin Johnson at Sherwood Country Club. I have run into him at Sherwood maybe 4 times since then and yes briefly spoke with him, like I’m sure any avid golfer and member would. I am sure he is a great person but we do not have a close friendship. I have never met Paulina Gretzky and do not know the Gretzky family, but again, I am sure they are great people. I have no insight into the rumors around Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky relationship. I wish them nothing but the best. I just want to go back to living my normal life.”
2. Safai Is Described as the ‘Ultimate Golf Chick’
Both Safai, Johnson and Gretzky are members of the exclusive Sherwood Country Club close to Thousand Oaks in California. The Sun reports that the scandal involving the trio is the talk of the club. A member of the club told The Sun, “It is the talk of the club that Yassie is at the center of the split, and it has caused Gretzky family a lot of heartache. Yassie is very ambitious, and is keen to be seen as the ultimate golf chick – but I’m not sure if being involved in something like this will help or hurt those ambitions.”
3. Safai Has Called Rickie Fowler Her Golfing Crush
In October 2017, Safai wrote on her Twitter page that her “Man Crush Monday” is golfer Rickie Fowler. Safai wrote that she was “obsessed with his self-taught swing.” After the publication of this article, Safai switched her Twitter account to private. That account is dedicated almost exclusively to golf. Safai writes in the bio section, “Love and Kindness and Golf #beYawesome.” Safai retweeted messages from Dustin Johnson’s official account on five different occasions over the past year.
Safai has also set her Instagram account to private. On that bio, Safai wrote, “Golf, Puppies, and Positivity.” Safai also refers to herself as an ambassador for Vice Golf.
The Sun report mentions that Safai’s “partner,” Michael Humbarger is also a member of the Sherwood club. Humbarger is a tax attorney with Ernst & Young, according to his LinkedIn page. Humbarger is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law.
4. Safai Is a UCLA Graduate
According to her LinkedIn page, Safai is a business development and corporate partnership consultant in the Los Angeles-area. Safai calls herself a “Versatile, and results-oriented, business development strategist.” Safai operates her own consultancy business, Yahsome, which she founded in October 2014. Safai was previously the director of sales at Surf Air. Safai graduated with a BA in Business Economics Program in Computing Specialization in 2008 and from San Jose State University in 2009 with a graduate degree in Economics.
5. Neither Johnson or Gretzky Have Commented Publicly on Their Relationship Status
Neither Johnson or Gretzky have commented publicly on their relationship in the wake of the Safai allegations. Previously, there have been rumors that Johnson was unfaithful to his fiancee. Most notably, the allegation that Johnson had an affair with Alli Mackenzie, wife of PGA golfer Will Mackenzie. Gretzky is a mainstay at Johnson’s tournament appearances, she was not present at the BMW Championship in Philadelphia. There were reports that the couple was planning to marry in 2019.
The controversy comes just a few weeks before Johnson is due to lead Team USA at the 2018 Ryder Cup.