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Ex-MLB Star Accuses His Church's Pastor of Having an Affair With His Wife

Photo: Ezra Shaw

Former Chicago Cubs star and 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist filed a lawsuit claiming that the pastor of his church had an extramarital affair with his wife and defrauded his charity. Zobrist alleges that Byron Yawn, who was the senior pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville, began having sex with his wife in 2019.

"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 counseled," the lawsuit states.

Zobrist and his wife met Yawn in 2005 and developed a close relationship over the years. Yawn served as their pre-marital counselor, and Zobrist went to him for advice and counseling, including during his bout with depression in 2016. During the affair, Yawn even counseled Zobrist and his wife about marital issues they were having. In one instance, Yawn told Zobrist to "give his wife some space."

Zobrist also accused Yawn of defrauding his charity, Patriot Forward. Yawn earned $36,000 serving as the executive director and used his role as an excuse to meet with Zobrist's wife. Yawn was fired from his role in March 2019 but continued to cash checks through May.

"By December of 2018, the defendant drafted his own job description as executive director, involving himself in every facet of the plaintiff's charity," the lawsuit says. "When the defendant began meeting the plaintiff's wife for sex during the spring of 2019, he was still the executive director of Patriot Forward."

Zobrist and his wife filed for divorce in 2019. He took a leave of absence from the Cubs from May until September and lost roughly $8 million during that time.

Zobrist is seeking $6 million in damages.

Yawn's attorney responded to the lawsuit in a statement to 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."

He added," 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."

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