Ben Zobrist's wife, Julianna, addresses 'ugly accusations'

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Julianna Zobrist addresses 'ugly accusations' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In a Tuesday Instagram post, Julianna Zobrist, the estranged wife of Ben Zobrist, addressed the "ugly accusations" made against her in a lawsuit by the former Cubs utility man and 2016 World Series MVP.

"There have been many ugly accusations made about me publicly in recent days," Julianna wrote. "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?"

Ben Zobrist filed a lawsuit in May alleging Byron Yawn, the family's former minister, defrauded his charity organization and had an affair with Julianna. He's seeking $6 million in damages.

Yawn, CEO of Nashville-area consulting firm Forrest Crane and Co., is a former pastor at Community Bible Church in Nashville, where he met the Zobrists in 2005.

"I am choosing to protect my children’s hearts by not saying hurtful things about their father in public," Julianna wrote. "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.

"It’s tempting to retaliate or seek revenge when someone decides to hurt, slander, or lie about you. Especially in public. 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."

Here is the entire statement:

Some of you have been wondering whether I will make a public statement about my divorce. I know this is true because many of you have sent me encouraging notes and DMs recently. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kindness.

There have been many ugly accusations made about me publicly in recent days. 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 have many roles that I am extremely proud to fill—I am a teacher and a learner, a speaker and a listener, a leader and a friend to many. But, the most important role to me is—mother. Those of you who are parents will understand how heavy this responsibility is. Nothing is more important to me than my three children. I have always tried to love them in such a way that they will be able to recognize true and healthy love for the remainder of their lives.

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.

It’s tempting to retaliate or seek revenge when someone decides to hurt, slander, or lie about you. Especially in public. 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.

My reconfigured family—a resilient mother and her three remarkably brave children—are building something healthy, safe and beautiful where shame does not abide.

A time will come when I will address my journey, independently of my children. But this is not that time. For now, I appreciate your ongoing kindness and respect for our privacy.

By Love we go, Julianna

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