Ex-MLB star Ben Zobrist and his estranged wife Julianna Zobrist are going through a messy divorce and preparing to hash things out in court next month and their pretrial documents have revealed some bombshell claims.
In his brief, which was reviewed by the Chicago Tribune, Ben states that the "genesis" of their split came in Dec. 2018, when Julianna threw a retirement party worth $30,000 for a pastor with whom she had an affair. The filing notes that Julianna paid for the party out of the Zobrist farm account, which the Chicago Cubs utility player does not review regularly, in an effort to "keep the cost of the party unknown to him."
"Mrs. Zobrist and Pastor Yawn both became intoxicated and are dancing 'on' each other in a provocative way that was very embarrassing to Ben Zobrist, especially in front of their close church friends," the brief continues.
"Wife took umbrage at her husband’s rebuking her privately after the party for acting in this manner in public. However, unknown to husband, wife was already 'in love' with Pastor Yawn."
Tension began between the estranged couple, who are both children of ministers, that year when Julianna told Ben she had "new thoughts and opinions that differed from some of their religious background and family beliefs."
It was at that time that Julianna reached out to Yawn and, over time, their relationship reportedly grew and changed into a romantic one. She allegedly had an affair with Yawn in March 2019. Two months later she confessed to Ben.
In divorce papers, Julianna meanwhile claimed Ben was "guilty of failing to preserve marital assets" when he took a hiatus from the team in May 2019, and is asking that a judge award her an additional $4 million when those assets are divided next month during their divorce trial, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In response, Ben's attorney, Helen S. Rogers, stated that, "rather than accepting blame for having torn her husband’s heart out by having an affair with their pastor," Julianna instead "expected him to be able to totally focus in an elite athletic job that required (100%) of his physical and mental energy."
"It is Mrs. Zobrist, by having the extramarital affair and confessing same to her husband, and not disclosing the true extent of her affair, that caused him such extreme mental distress and difficulty that resulted in an inability to finish his long and very successful career in the way that he had hoped for and planned for," Rogers added.
Julianna however maintains that "as the marriage progressed, (she) began to experience (Ben)’s perfectionist tendencies which would often feel overbearing and controlling."
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