Ex-Chicago Cubs star Ben Zobrist’s estranged wife Julianna is demanding that he pay her $4 million as part of their messy divorce settlement, alleging he gave up his career and lost his contract after having an affair with their pastor in Tennessee.
Ben and Julianna Zobrist, who each filed for divorce in May 2019 after 14 years of marriage, will appear in court next month in what has become a long-running and public case.
The 40-year-old MLB star, who has since retired, alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that his wife had a year-long affair with their Nashville pastor Bryon Yawn, who had the couple’s marriage counseling at one point. given.
Zobrist first filed for divorce from Julianna in May 2019 after claiming she had engaged in “inappropriate marital behavior” when their marriage had already broken down.
He then parted ways with the Cubs to resolve his marital problems.
Ex-Chicago Cubs star Ben Zobrist and his Christian singer wife Juliana both filed for divorce in May 2019 after 14 years of marriage
Now his Christian singer wife claims in preliminary judicial documents obtained by the… Chicago Tribune, that Zobrist was “guilty of not preserving marital property” when he left the team.
As a result of his leave of absence, Zobrist played just two months of the 2019 season, earning a prorated $4.5 million from his $12 million contract, according to court records.
Julianna accused the 2016 World Series MVP of “essentially giving up” and missing out on revenue when he “deliberately and voluntarily” retired.
She wants a 50-50 split of their marital assets and the additional $4 million, which she says is “the amount of money he has been unable to keep by abruptly and deliberately breaching his baseball contract.”
Zobrist’s lawyer labeled the claim “utterly absurd” and accused Julianna of trying to shift blame after admitting she was having an affair with their predecessor.
“Rather than accepting the blame for having torn her husband’s heart through an affair with their predecessor, she expected that he would be able to focus entirely on an elite athletic job that made (100%) of his physical and mental energy,” says the lawyer. said in the statement.
“It is Mrs. Zobrist, in having the extramarital affair and confessing it to her husband, and failing to reveal the true extent of her affair, who caused him such extreme mental distress and difficulties that resulted in the inability to and a very successful career. in the way he had hoped and planned.’
Juliana, who shares three children with her husband, claims Zobrist was ‘guilty of not preserving marital property’ when he left the team in May 2019 amid their marital woes
The 40-year-old MLB star, who has since retired, alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that his wife was having a year-long affair with their Nashville pastor Bryon Yawn (pictured above) that the couple had at one point. given marriage counseling
Zobrist, who wants a 60-40 split of their assets, has accused his wife of overspending $690,000 on the spousal estate.
In the divorce proceedings, Zobrist asks for joint custody of their three children. However, Julianna is behind full custody.
Aside from the divorce proceedings, Zobrist filed a $6 million lawsuit in June against the pastor, Bryon Yawn, for emotional distress and allegedly defrauding his charity.
Zobrist claimed in that lawsuit that he initially believed his wife and Yawn were just having an emotional relationship, but found out in June 2020 that they were having an affair.
The $6 million is the income that Zobrist missed out on while on leave.
The lawsuit alleges that the Zobrists, who married in 2005 and have three children, met Yawn more than 16 years ago through the Community Bible Church, where he was a pastor.
The pastor gave the Zobrists pre- and post-marital counseling, the lawsuit says. He also gave Zobrist advice on anxiety and depression.
Yawn and Julianna started talking regularly in 2018 and are said to have had the affair in the spring of 2019. They allegedly used prepaid cell phones to keep it a secret.
At the time, Zobrist confided to Yawn that his marriage was crumbling.
The baseball star told his pastor that Julianna had consulted a divorce attorney, according to the lawsuit.
At the time, Zobrist confided to Yawn that his marriage was crumbling in a series of texts included in the lawsuit. The baseball star told his pastor that Julianna had consulted a divorce attorney according to the lawsuit rechtszaak
Zobrist first filed for divorce from his Christian singer wife in May 2019 after alleging Julianna had engaged in “inappropriate marital behavior” while their marriage was on the rocks. They are pictured in a 2017 Instagram post
In a text message to Yawn about the breakdown of his marriage, Zobrist wrote: “She used the words emotional, verbal and spiritual abuse. I was shocked. I can’t be 2,000 miles away from her and kids while she’s thinking that about me. I’ve owned every bit of my sin, but I won’t own the abuse corner.”
Yawn replied, ‘I’m sure it’s like being knocked off your feet and in the head. But I can’t imagine what it feels like right now. Your (sic) a husband and a father first. That’s who you are.’
He also urged Zobrist to give his wife space, the suit said.
During this time, the lawsuit alleges that Yawn also landed a leadership position at Patriot Forward, a nonprofit organization Zobrist founded to help athletes with mental health.
Yawn was fired in March 2019 but continued to fraudulently receive a salary of $3,500 a month until May, the lawsuit alleges.
It is not clear how he was able to receive the salary even after his resignation.
Yawn’s relationship with Julianna reportedly came to light after the vicar’s wife, Robin Yawn, discovered the prepaid phones the couple had been using in May 2019.
She told Zobrist that she believed her husband had an emotional relationship with Julianna.
Zobrist said goodbye to the Cubs and filed for divorce, according to the lawsuit.
The baseball star only discovered in June 2020 – following court documents filed during the divorce proceedings – that his wife had allegedly had a sexual relationship with Yawn.
Zobrist returned to the Cubs in September 2019, but retired at the end of the season.
Yawn is no longer affiliated with the Church and is now CEO of the Nashville business consulting firm Forrest Crain & Co.