MLB star Ben Zobrist accuses his pastor of having affair with his wife and defrauding his charity

Former Chicago Cubs player seeking $6 million in damages for fraud and ‘emotional distress’

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 01 July 2021 17:13
<p>Former Chicago Cubs star Ben Zobrist</p>

Former Chicago Cubs star Ben Zobrist

A former Chicago Cubs star, Ben Zobrist, has accused a pastor of carrying out an extramarital affair with his wife, Julianna Zobrist, and defrauding his charity.

In a civil complaint filed in Tennessee in May, Mr Zobrist said the senior pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville, Byron Yawn, took “advantage” while he was counselling the pair.

Mr Yawn, as NBC News reported, then “began meeting” Ms Zobrist “for sex”, and told the former Chicago Clubs star to “give his wife some space”, according to the complaint.

It continued: "The defendant secretly maintained a sexually intimate relationship with the plaintiff's wife for the remainder of 2019 and into the spring of 2020, all the while concealing it from the plaintiff, his counselee”.

Mr Yawn also allegedly became involved in Mr Zobrist’s charity, Patriot Forward, “as an excuse to meet with the Plaintiff's wife” toward the end of 2018.

After rising to executive director of Patriot Forward, Mr Yawn proposed a budget with a $36,000 (£25,774) annual salary for himself, according to the complaint.

“By December of 2018, the defendant drafted his own job description as Executive Director, involving himself in every facet of the plaintiff's charity,” the complaint continued.

“When the defendant began meeting the plaintiff's wife for sex during the spring of 2019, he was still the Executive Director of Patriot Forward.”

Mr Yawn, despite being fired shortly after the budget proposed, was accused of fraudulently receive salary checks from March to May 2019.

Mr Zobrist, who retired from Major League Baseball in 2020, is seeking $6 million (£4.3 million) in damages in the complaint, NBC News reported.

An attorney for Mr Yawn’, Christopher Bellamy, told the network: “At the end of the day, any woman, including the woman involved here, has the right to choose who she wants to be with.

“We are in the middle of litigation, so I cannot comment further at this point, but that is what this case boils down to,” added Mr Bellamy, who confirmed that the pastor no longer belonged to the Community Bible Church.

The Independent has approached Mr Zobrist’s attorney for comment.

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