Ben Zobrist divorce: How a $30K party for sex rat pastor Byron Yawn ended in despair

In a retirement party that Julianna Zobrist threw for the pastor, she spent $30K and danced lewdly with him in front of Ben Zobrist, family and friends

                            Ben Zobrist divorce: How a $30K party for sex rat pastor Byron Yawn ended in despair
Ben Zobrist and wife Julianna before her affair with pastor Byron Yawn came into light (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/ Twitter)

The divorce proceedings of Ben Zobrist and his estranged wife Julianna saw a new allegation emerge from the Cubs star, alleging a wild 2018 retirement party that Julianna threw for her pastor Byron Yawn whom she was having an affair with at the time. This party has become the crux of the divorce case, show court documents previewing the Zobrists' trial scheduled for next month in Tennessee. 

Filed on July 14 in Williamson County Chancery Court, the seven-day trial is about to begin on August 9 with a pretrial hearing set for July 29. In documents obtained by the media, Juliana, 36, requests the couple's joint assets somewhere between $24M and $31M to be split equally. Julianna is also demanding an additional $4M from her husband for "failure to maintain marital assets due to his intentional decision to substantially reduce his earnings by failing to satisfy his baseball contract," her pretrials memorandum states.


Byron Yawn manipulated Ben Zobrist into giving Julianna Zobrist space while having affair with her

How much money did Ben Zobrist's pastor steal? A look at Bryon Yawn's $15k trips and $36k salary

Julianna danced lewdly with pastor

This loss in income happened when Ben took time off from baseball in May 2019 to work on their marriage, which Julianna is now using against him to demand the additional millions as part of their settlement. Ben, on the other hand, is also suing Yawn for emotional distress inflicted on their marital life, and also for defrauding his charity. But turns out the foundation of the highly publicized divorce is that party from December 2018, where Julianna allegedly lewdly danced with Yawn in front of family and friends at their suburban Nashville farm.

Julianna had allegedly organized the party to celebrate Yawn's departure from his position at the Community Bible Church in Nashville, claim court documents. Both Julianna and Yawn were intoxicated that evening before they danced in front of the guests. "Wife (Julianna), incredulous that Husband (Ben) was upset that his wife was dancing inappropriately with another man ... attempted to turn the matter on Husband by saying Husband was upset at how much everyone had been drinking that evening," Ben's memo for the pretrial stated, adding: "In actuality, as Husband eventually discovered, Wife had already moved on from Husband and was 'in love' with Pastor Yawn."

Julianna Zobrist, wife of Ben Zobrist #18 (not pictured) of the Chicago Cubs, sings the national anthem before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on May 30, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

How much money did Julianna spend?

This became the genesis of their divorce proceedings, allege court documents. Julianna had sought Yawn's counsel in 2018 as the Christian singer and self-help author began questioning her faith. Their relationship soon evolved into a romantic one with them indulging in an affair that reportedly began in 2019. Ben's civil suit against Yawn states he had no clue about the affair until June 2020, when he found out about Julianna's sexual relationship with Yawn. The current court documents suggest that the two have resumed their relationship, which comes after Yawn got divorced from his wife Robin earlier this year.

Married in 2005, the Zobrists share three children, the oldest of whom is 12. "As the marriage progressed, Wife began to experience Husband's perfectionist tendencies, which would often feel overbearing and controlling to Wife," Julianna's memo stated, continuing:: "Throughout their marriage, Husband struggled with mental health issues that included manic tendencies, depression, anxiety, melancholy and thoughts of suicide."

Ben Zobrist's estranged wife Julianna is claiming an even split of their marital assets as well as additional $4 million for intentionally causing financial distress (Instagram)

Julianna's increasing expenses

On his end, Ben also detailed Julianna's spending habits in his memo, showing an average expense of about $24,000 a month in 2018. Most of this was spent on travel, clothing, and gifts, while Ben's monthly spending from the time was reportedly $6,500. By 2019, Julianna's monthly expenditure rose to about $65,300, and when she and Ben separated, her rent for the Vertis Green Hills penthouse that she moved to in Nashville was $12,500 per month. Additional expenses were roughly $4,000 monthly for furniture, court documents claim.

Ben's memo also alleged that some of Julianna's spendings were towards hotel rooms and gifts for Yawn. "Her purported attempt to have a 'career' as a singer or author have cost the family huge amounts of monies that she has spent, especially on extravagant and unnecessary clothing and travel costs, for little to absolutely no return," Ben's memo states, alleging that Julianna coaxed the baseball star to return to the sport to regain his earnings. Julianna has also been accused of concealing her sexual relationship with Yawn to delay divorce proceedings until Ben's baseball career was resumed, with a goal to increase their joint marital estate. "Had Wife simply been honest with Husband about the truth of her affair ... Husband would not have taken a leave of absence to 'work' on the marriage," Ben's memo states.

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