Chicago Cubs World Series hero Ben Zobrist is back in headlines this week after dropping a $6 million lawsuit against his former pastor, Byron Yawn, with whom his wife Julianna engaged in an extramarital affair.
"“It’s a step in the right direction,” Yawn’s attorney, Christopher Bellamy, told the Chicago Tribune. “I’m suspicious for their reasons but I’m optimistic that he’ll continue to do the right things.”"
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The manner in which Zobrist withdrew the claim allows him to re-file within 12 months, but it remains to be seen if he’ll pursue that course of action. At least on surface level (again, I am someone who’s obviously not intimately involved in this week’s court proceedings in Tennessee), it seems a strange move.
Initially, the 2016 World Series MVP filed the case in early May, claiming Yawn’s relationship with his then-wife equated to “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” That’s not the only knock on Yawn, either, who reportedly defrauded Zobrist’s Patriot Forward charity in the form of a $3,500 monthly salary as director, cashing a pair of checks after being terminated in the spring of 2019.
In the divorce proceedings, Julianna is seeking an equal split of marital assets and an additional $4 million sum – which is derived from the salary she claims Zobrist knowingly forfeit when he stepped away from the Cubs during the 2019 season to deal with his personal life crashing down around him.
Chicago Cubs: Expect more news from the Ben Zobrist divorce case
This whole affair has been just absolutely brutal – and the details, which I wrote about last month, are enough to make anyone, married or unmarried, uncomfortable. To say the least, this isn’t the legacy Zobrist worked his entire life to leave behind and, hopefully, once the dust settles on this, we can welcome him back to Cubs Convention or Wrigley Field and put it all behind us.
After all, we’re talking about a guy who always did whatever was asked of him on the baseball field. An old-school personality who came to the ballpark and ground out at-bats every single day while moving all over the diamond defensively, Zobrist was a critical part of the most successful era in modern Cubs history.
For now, though, he’ll remain in the news for this very different reason.