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Cubs’ Ben Zobrist cites ‘inappropriate marital conduct’ by wife in court filing

Coinciding with that filing, Julianna Zobrist filed for divorce Monday in Cook County circuit court

2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist celebrates with his wife, Julianna, after defeating the Indians 8-7 in Game 7.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Cubs World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, who has been on personal leave from the team since last week, filed a complaint early this week for legal separation from his wife, alleging she “has been guilty of inappropriate marital conduct, which rendered further cohabitation impossible,” according to a report in The Tennesseean.

The three-page complaint was filed in Williamson County circuit court, near Zobrist’s home just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Coinciding with that filing, Zobrist’s wife, Julianna, filed for divorce Monday in Cook County circuit court, according to court records, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

Separate filings in different jurisdictions in cases involving large marital assets are not uncommon. Definitions of marital assets and procedures for determining division of the assets vary from state to state.

Zobrist is due more than $9 million for the remainder of this season in the final year of his four-year contract with the club.

The Cubs have not disclosed the reason for Zobrist’s leave from the team, which began May 8, and team officials on Tuesday said his timeline remains indefinite.

“I texted with him the other day, reminded him how much I care about him,” manager Joe Maddon said, “and how much we miss him.”

Julianna Zobrist, a professional singer who has sung the national anthem at Cubs games and sang “God Bless America” before a 2016 World Series game at Wrigley Field, deleted her Twitter account in recent weeks. She had scrubbed her Instagram account of images of her husband earlier this year.

Ben Zobrist, the MVP of the 2016 World Series, also delayed reporting to spring training in February for what he and the team also called “personal reasons.”

His leave last week prompted the team to recall Addison Russell earlier than planned from a minor-league option following Russell’s suspension for domestic violence.