World Series MVP Ben Zobrist's wife Julianna Zobrist is reportedly seeking $4 million in divorce. Juliana claimed that Zobrist had failed to "preserve marital assets" when he took a leave of absence from the Major League Baseball team in 2019.
According to Julianna her demand for $4 million was the amount of money Zobrist failed to preserve by abruptly and intentionally failing to satisfy his baseball contract.
The Chicago Tribune has obtained court documents regarding the case. According to the documents, Julianna Zobrist claimed the 2016 World Series MVP "intentionally and voluntarily stopped working" and went from "the top of his game" to "giving up" which affected the household income. Thus she was seeking an even split of marital assets.
'Ben Zobrist Suffered Extreme Mental Distress'
Prior to this, former Chicago Cubs player Zobrist had sought to separate legally from wife, citing inappropriate marital conduct. He had claimed that Julianna had an affair with then Tennessee pastor Byron Yawn. In this backdrop, Zobrist's attorney Helen S. Rogers stated that Julianna's claims were "utterly absurd".
Rogers stated in the divorce filings that Julianna's alleged affair with former Tennessee pastor Byron Yawn caused the Zobrist "extreme mental distress" and also said that Julianna had "coaxed" him into returning to the Cubs.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Rogers said: "Rather than accepting blame for having torn her husband's heart out by having an affair with their pastor, she expected him to be able to totally focus in an elite athletic job that required (100%) of his physical and mental energy."
Rogers further explained that Julianna's extramarital affair had caused Zobrist extreme mental distress. This had also affected his successful career. Divorce proceedings are set to take place on August 9.
Zobsit's Suit against Pastor Yawn
Spotrac stated that Zobrist had made about $78.3 million during his baseball career of 13 years. But after learning of Julianna's affair in 2018, he filed for legal separation from her in May 2019. At the same time, Zobrist also took leave of absence from baseball. However, he re-joined the Cubs in September 2019 but retired following conclusion of the 2019 season.
Zebrost filed for separation in Tennessee and Julianna filed for divorce in Illinois. Chicago Cubs reacted to the news and said they were not sure if Zobrist will return to the team this season. Extending their support, Cubs stated: "Obviously, we miss him."
Meanwhile, the alleged affair became public when pastor Yawn's wife Robin found a pre-paid phone used by her husband and Julianna. In fact, Yawn had acted as the couple's pre- and post-marital counsellor in 2005. It is said that Julianna became close to Yawn in 2018 and started having a sexual relationship with him in 2019.
Zobrist has also sued Yawn for $6 million in a separate case of alleged intentional inflection of emotional distress and defrauding his charity. The suit claims that Yawn had received monthly pay-checks of $3,500 for two months from Zobrist's charity, even after he was fired as the executive director in March 2019.
Julianna Zobrist is a known Christian pop singer. A celebrity herself, Julianna has had the opportunity of singing the national anthem at several Cubs games. She had also performed "God Bless America" before World Series game at Wrigley Field in 2016.