’90 Day Fiance’ Star and Former Pastor Ben Rathbun Breaks Silence About Arrest, Firing From Charity Job
Ben Rathbun, star of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, shocked viewers when it was revealed he was arrested and charged with one count of OWAI [operating while ability impaired] and one count of driving with license suspended/revoked/denied.) Now, Rathbun is speaking out after being fired from his job at a charity organization.
In an exclusive interview with In Touch Weekly, Rathbun said his exit from the Michigan Lupus Foundation “will serve to humble me and allow greater growth in me as a person.”
The 52-year-old former executive director said he doesn’t blame the foundation for ending their working relationship.
“Anything that would distract us from accomplishing the mission of our charity should be dealt with appropriately,” Rathbun shared. “I had become a major distraction, and I know this process, while painful, is the best course of action.”
Rathbun added that his termination from the Michigan Lupus Foundation “will eventually lead me to another place of service that can use my talents to help people.”
TMZ initially reported Rathbun was arrested for driving under the influence on March 15 at 12:21AM ET. While details surrounding the arrest were vague, a mugshot was released that instantly went viral, and it was revealed his bond was set at $10,000.
Rathbun told In Touch that the news TMZ reported was inaccurate. The reality star was actually arrested in November 2020 for OUI and a suspended license. He was sentenced to 18 months probation in January 2021.
After his failure to appear in front of the court on Feb. 7, the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
“When the public, including the board members of my charity, first heard of my arrest, [it was] falsely reported that I had been picked up late at night for drunk driving,” Rathbun shared. “While the truth was far less dramatic, the damage had been done.”
“I had committed a crime and put myself and others in danger,” he continued. “I had hid it from them and even my family.”
Rathbun claimed to In Touch that "in September of 2020, I went to help a homeless couple living at a Red Roof Inn, and when they offered me a little plastic cup of wine, I stupidly accepted. When I left, I felt so tired I stopped at a hotel for the night and completely lost the next 24 hours. Apparently, they had spiked the drink.”
Rathbun added: “The next day, I attempted to drive home and hit the curb, disabling my car. The police did a breathalyzer and found no alcohol, but later they did a blood draw at the station and found flubromazolam in my system.”
He said he received 18 months probation, community service, counseling, fines, educational courses and random weekly testing" following the incident.
As for his arrest for not appearing in court, Rathbun alleged that when he moved to another state, his summons was mailed to the wrong address.
“This was my fault because I needed to make sure I was getting all notices, but by the time I found out, it was too late, and I missed my appointment. So, a warrant was issued for my arrest. I immediately drove 14 hours and turned myself into the court and spent a night in jail.”
According to In Touch, this isn’t Rathbun’s only run-in with legal issues.
According to the tabloid, the 90 Day Fiancé star has also had liens placed on his Warren, Mich. property due to “nonpayment of property taxes.”
Rathbun isn't exactly a favorite on the reality show. He drew viewers' ire after a fan spotted a Facebook page linking him to Amy Phung, a woman he had not mentioned on the show. Thought to be living a double life, fans worried about his intentions with co-star Mahogany Roca, a woman 30 years his junior.
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days is streaming now on Discovery+, Hulu, and Apple TV.