Former Cubs All-Star and 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist has filed a lawsuit alleging his former minister defrauded his charity and had a sexual affair with his wife Julianna, according to multiple reports.
Zobrist, 40, is seeking $6 million in damages in the lawsuit against Byron Yawn — CEO of Nashville-area consulting firm Forrest Crane and Co.
The lawsuit alleges that Yawn defrauded Zobrist’s “Patriot Forward” charity while working in an administrative capacity.
The lawsuit says Yawn is a former senior pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville. He had been in the position for about 20 years when the Zobrists began attending the church in 2005, according to the suit. He served as the couple’s pre-marital counselor that year.
Ben Zobrist attended counseling sessions with Yawn through the years, including in 2016 and 2017 when he experienced anxiety and depression, the suit says.
According to the reports, Yawn and Julianna began talking daily in August 2018; they used prepaid cell phones to conceal the relationship; the sexual relationship began the following spring.
Yawn’s wife, Robin, discovered the phones in May 2019 and contacted Ben Zobrist to inform him of what she believed to be an emotional affair between Yawn and Julianna, the suit says. The Zobrists began attending marital counseling.
Zobrist, whose 2019 salary was $12 million, left the Cubs in May 2019 for four months on unpaid personal leave. He didn’t know about the sexual relationship until June 2020, the suit says.