Cubs Player Ben Zobrist and Singer Wife Julianna Split as He Claims 'Inappropriate' Conduct

Chicago Cubs player Ben Zobrist and his wife, singer Julianna Zobrist, have split after nearly 14 years of marriage, according to multiple news reports.

The couple each moved on Monday to end to their relationship: He filed for a separation in Tennessee, where they have a home in Nashville; she filed for divorce in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune and Tennessean.

Ben, 37, claimed in his filing that Julianna has been “guilty of inappropriate marital conduct which render further cohabitation impossible,” the Tennessean reports. He stated that he was “unsure if the marriage can be salvaged.”

Julianna did not give a reason for her divorce request, the Tribune reports.

Both children of pastors, Ben and Julianna wed in Iowa in December 2005 and have a son and two daughters. (For their nuptials, they both wore white, according to the Tampa Bay Times.)

Parade labeled the Zobrists an iconic “All-American family” in 2017. But there were signs of trouble before this week’s split: Ben took an indefinite leave of absence from the Cubs last week, and the team’s manager said Wednesday that he couldn’t predict when Ben would return to the field.

“I have no idea,” Joe Maddon said, according to the Tribune. “I totally respect the man’s privacy. I totally respect the man. I feel for him.”

“I feel for him,” Maddon said, ESPN reports. “Having gone through that process myself, it’s no fun. For him to do it under these circumstances, we’re going to respect his privacy. There is no timeline involved. He’ll let us know.”


Julianna, 34, recently deleted her Twitter account, according to the Tribune. Her attorney in the divorce, Karen Krehbiel, declined to comment to the paper on her husband’s claims.

“We don’t have any information right now to release to the public,” said Krehbiel. (Neither she nor Ben’s attorney, Helen Rogers, could immediately be reached by PEOPLE.)

The Zobrists first met through Julianna’s sister’s husband, according to the Tribune: He and Ben were roommates and teammates in college.

“In 2001, Ben and Julianna … started their relationship instant messaging. A prayerful courtship followed. There were chaste dates and long phone conversations about God, family and baseball,” the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2014.

“Of course we were attracted to each other but it was more than that,” Julianna told the Times of Ben. “It was a lot of prayer and heavy leaning on my heart. I loved the way that he was so thoughtful. Our conversations were always purposeful. I felt safe with him. It was that way from the beginning.”

RELATED: Ben and Julianna Zobrist Welcome Son Zion Benjamin

Reflecting on their relationship in another interview, Julianna once said she and Ben kept their marriage strong in part thanks to a “six-day” rule after he was drafted by the Houston Astros.

“Neither of us was naive; we knew the divorce rate in baseball. … So we implemented a six-day rule, where we try to never be apart for more than six days,” she reportedly said.

Julianna released a self-help book last year, Pull It Off: Removing Your Fears and Putting on Confidence. She and Ben previously co-wrote Double Play: Faith and Family First.

She released her last album, Shatterproof, in 2016. That same year, she sang the national anthem in the fourth game of the World Series. The Cubs ultimately emerged victorious over the Cleveland Indians.

Ben also used his wife’s music for his walk-up song on the field.

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