Former Chicago Cubs player Ben Zobrist alleged that his wife Julianna, a Christian pop singer, had a year-long affair with their former Tennessee pastor, and now he’s suing him for damages.
The retired World Series MVP found out that his wife of fifteen years was cheating on him with the minister that had been counseling them through their marital problems when the minister’s wife informed him that she believed their spouses were involved in an emotional affair.
Zobrist took a four-month leave from professional baseball in May 2019 to work on his marriage, which according to the lawsuit, cost him $8 million in MLB income. The truth about the pair’s unsavory sexual relations didn’t come out until June 2020, when Julianna admitted that she lied about the nature of the affair.
To add insult to injury, the pastor, Byron Yawn, worked for Zobrist’s non-profit as an executive director, and after he was fired, managed to continue paying himself a $3,500 a month salary from the charity’s coffers.
The second baseman had also personally donated more than $10,000 for Yawn’s family to go on a pastoral trip, and was funding the Community Bible Church where he worked with $10,000 a month.
The lawsuit also alleges that Yawn, who is no longer affiliated with the church, capitalized on the Cub’s star’s notoriety by “requesting tickets to baseball games; hosting ‘Guys Night Out’ for the church at Mr. Zobrist’s home; (requesting) that Mr. Zobrist send personal videos to parishioners who were being baptized, and nominating Mr. Zobrist as a deacon of Community Bible Church in hopes that his celebrity would attract new parishioners and keep current parishioners.”Zobrist, who shares three children with Julianna, is seeking $6 million in damages from Yawn.