By Ryan Young / Yahoo! Sports

Former Chicago Cubs star and 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist has filed a lawsuit against his former pastor Byron Yawn, alleging that he had an affair with his wife Julianna Zobrist and defrauded his charitable foundation, all while serving as his spiritual counselor and confidant.

Ex-Chicago Cubs star Ben Zobrist alleged in a lawsuit filed last month that his wife Julianna had a year-long affair with Bryon Yawn back in 2019 while he was their pastor in Nashville. They are pictured together in 2016 after being named World Series MVP

Zobrist and his wife, Julianna, started attending the Community Bible Church in 2005. Yawn, the senior pastor at that church, had been there for nearly two decades and started serving as the couple’s pre-marital counselor that year, per the report. Yawn is no longer associated with the church.

Zobrist first filed for separation from his Christian singer wife back in May 2019 after alleging that Julianna had engaged in ‘inappropriate marital conduct’ while their marriage was breaking down.  

At the time, Zobrist was confiding in 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 lawyer, according to the lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, Zobrist is seeking $6 million in damages due to “breach of fiduciary duty and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

The suit also alleges that Yawn “used his influence” to involve himself in all facets of Zobrist’s “Patriot Forward” charity, writing the group’s curriculum and handling other aspects of the organization, including social media and copyrighting.

For this work, Yawn was paid approximately $36,000 per year. Ben Zobrist also contributed approximately $10,000 per month to the church that Yawn was senior pastor of at the time, and donated between $10 and $15,000 to fund a pastoral trip for Yawn’s family, according to the suit.

Yawn’s contract with Patriot Forward was terminated in March of 2019, but he continued drawing a salary of $3,500 a month until May of 2019, and the suit alleges that he did so “fraudulently.”



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