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Julianna Zobrist responds to accusations

Her estranged husband, former Cubs player Ben Zobrist, alleged in a lawsuit that she had an affair with their minister.

Julianna Zobrist did not directly address accusations made by her estranged husband, former Cubs player Ben Zobrist.
Julianna Zobrist did not directly address accusations made by her estranged husband, former Cubs player Ben Zobrist.
/Matt Slocum/AP

Julianna Zobrist, estranged wife of former Cubs player Ben Zobrist, commented on the public drama her family has endured in an Instagram post Tuesday morning.

“It’s tempting to retaliate or seek revenge when someone decides to hurt, slander, or lie about you. Especially in public,” she wrote. “It’s difficult to remember that those who harm us are acting out of their own pain. Wounded people need healing, and that’s what I pray finds every person who is so lost in their pain that they resort to inflicting harm on others”

Ben Zobrist filed a lawsuit in May alleging Julianna was having an affair with their minister, according to court documents. The minister, Byron Yawn, was also accused of defrauding Zobrist’s charity foundation, for which he worked.

Now retired after a 13-year major-league baseball career, Ben Zobrist is seeking $6 million in damages from Byron Yawn, the CEO of Forrest Crain & Co., a Nashville-area business-consulting firm.

Yawn also is a former pastor and elder at Community Bible Church in Nashville. In that position, Yawn met Zobrist and his wife, the former Julianna Gilmore, about 16 years ago. The Zobrists, who were married in 2005, have three children.

Ben Zobrist paused his 2019 Cubs season for about four months as he and Julianna, a contemporary-Christian singer, addressed their marital problems.

“There have been many ugly accusations made about me publicly in recent days,” Julianna Zobrist posted on Tuesday. “And this has created an expectation that I should respond by defending myself—and maybe even offering a few ugly accusations in return. Isn’t that how these kinds of things always play out? …

“I am choosing to protect my children’s hearts by not saying hurtful things about their father in public. My attention is focused on caring for them during this difficult time, and I refuse to divert my energy to slinging mud and publicly reveal personal details of my previous relationship in order to score sympathy points.”