Former MLB Star Ben Zobrist Sues Pastor for Sleeping With His Wife and Defrauding Charity

The ex-Chicago Cubs player accuses his former minister, Byron Yawn, of extramarital affair with his wife Julianna and biking his charity, seeking $6 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

AceShowbiz - Former MLB star Ben Zobrist is suing a pastor for allegedly sleeping with his wife. The retired professional baseball player is accusing pastor Byron Yawn of extramarital affair with his wife Julianna and defrauding his charity amid marriage counseling.

Ben filed the lawsuit in Tennesse on May 6. In the docs, he claims Byron "usurped the ministerial-counselor role, violated and betrayed the confidence entrusted to him by [Ben], breached his fiduciary duty owed to [Ben] and deceitfully used his access as counselor to engage in an inappropriate sexual relationship with [Ben]'s wife."

The lawsuit details Byron was a senior pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville when in spring 2019 "he began meeting her [Ben's wife] for sex." It alleges, "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."

As for the defrauding charity claims, it is said that the pastor submitted a proposed budget for the charity that included a $36,000 annual salary for himself. The charity fired Byron in March 2019 when he was making $3,500 a month, but "Mr. Yawn somehow continued to fraudulently receive salary checks until May of 2019 and he cashed these checks with full knowledge that his position had been terminated."

Ben, who last played as a pro baseball athlete for the Chicago Cubs in 2019, is suing Byron for "breach of fiduciary duty" as his pastor and head of the charity and "intentional infliction of emotional distress." He is seeking a total of $6 million in punitive and compensatory damages through a jury trial.

Asked to comment on the lawsuit, Byron's attorney, Christopher Bellamy, told The Chicago Tribune, "At the end of the day, a woman has the right to choose who she wants to be with. We're in the middle of litigation, so I can't really comment further at this point, but that's what it boils down to. My client deserves his day in court and for the truth to be heard, and so we're going to do that through the court process."

"We are in the middle of litigation, so I cannot comment further at this point," he also said to NBC News, "but that is what this case boils down to. The facts are going to come out in the course of the lawsuit and the court proceedings."

Byron has left Community Bible Church, the Nashville-based church where he was a senior pastor for 20 years and where the Zobrists began attending in 2005. The former pastor is currently the owner of a Nashville-area business-consulting firm called Forrest Crain & Co.

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