On Thursday, 14-year MLB veteran Ben Zobrist dropped his lawsuit against pastor Byron Yawn, who engaged in an extramarital affair with Zobrist’s former wife, Julianna.
Zobrist had initially sought $6 million in damages, citing the “intentional infliction of emotional distress” caused by the affair. Zobrist also alleged that Yawn defrauded his charity, collecting a $3,500 monthly salary.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Zobrist voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit using a “without prejudice” notice, allowing for the possibility of the ex-infielder refiling the lawsuit in the next year. He originally filed the lawsuit on May 6.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Yawn’s attorney, Christopher Bellamy, told the Tribune. “I’m suspicious for their reasons but I’m optimistic that he’ll continue to do the right things.”
The couple is currently engaged in a divorce trial in a Tennessee court. Zobrist originally filed for divorce in May 2019, with a $30,000 retirement party that Julianna threw for Yawn in December 2018 serving as the “genesis.” At the party, Julianna and Yawn were “dancing ‘on’ each other in a provocative way that was very embarrassing to Ben,” per court documents.
They had been married for 14 years.
Zobrist took a four-month leave of absence from the Cubs in 2019 to resolve marital issues, losing $7.5 million of his $12 million salary, as a result.
In the divorce trial, Julianna is seeking an even split of marital assets and $4 million, claiming that Ben “failed to preserve” that amount of money when he forewent his salary by taking a leave of absence.
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