World Series MVP Ben Zobrist’s Pastor Convinced Him To Give Wife Space, Then Slept With Her; Also Defrauded His Charity

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Ben Zobrist, who retired from a 14-season MLB career in March 2020, learned that his wife was having an affair with their pastor, according to court documents that surfaced this week. The same minister is also accused of defrauding Zobrist’s charity, where he was employed.

The 2016 World Series MVP made the claim his wife and Byron Yawn had the affair while Yawn was their pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville. According to the paper, Yawn served as the couple’s pre- and post-marital counselor and that he and Julianna started talking more in 2018 and then had a sexual relationship in 2019.

The 40-year-old ex-infielder seeks $6 million in damages from Byron Yawn, the CEO of Forrest Crain & Co., a Nashville-area business-consulting firm. The Peoria Journal Star obtained a copy of the court documents last week.

During the period when their marriage began to deteriorate, Zobrist was discussing his marital troubles with Byron Yawn, who encouraged him to give his wife some space.

“She used the words emotional, verbal and spiritual abuse. I was shocked,” Zobrist texted. “Can’t be 2,000 miles away from her and kids while she’s thinking that about me. I have owned every bit of my sin, but I will not own the abuse angle.”

“I’m sure it’s like getting knocked off your feet and into your head. But I can’t imagine what it feels like in this moment. Your (sic) a husband and a father first. That’s who you are,” Yawn responded.

Yawn began talking almost daily with Julianna through pre-paid phones in 2018, and a sexual relationship between the two began a year later. Ben Zobrist took a four-month leave from the Cubs in 2019 to address his marital problems after Robin Yawn, pastor Yawn’s wife, informed Zobrist about what she believed to be only an emotional relationship between their spouses in May 2019. During that span of time, he lost $8 million in income, according to the lawsuit.

It was not until June 2020 when Zobrist learned that his wife had a sexual relationship with their minister.

Aside from having sex with his Zobrist’s wife, Yawn is also accused of having Zobrist sign autographs, get tickets for baseball games, host events at his home and send personal messages to newly baptized members of the church, the paper reported. The suit also claimed that Yawn received $3,500 monthly checks from a non-profit Zobrist founded for two months after he was fired as executive director in March 2019.

“Mr. Yawn often capitalized on the Plaintiff’s celebrity,” the lawsuit stated, “asking him to sign autographs for his mother-in-law; 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.”

According to the Community Bible Church, Byron Yawn is no longer affiliated.