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.
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.
Lawsuit: Former MLB star Ben Zobrist says wife had affair with their pastor; sues him for millions https://t.co/3Mli0TaG6u— WGN Radio 720 (@WGNRadio) June 22, 2021
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.”