Jesse Ventura awarded $1.8 million in defamation suit against late American Sniper

posted at 4:41 pm on July 29, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Justice may be blind, but it sure isn’t especially fair.

In 2012, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the estate of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the author of the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, claiming that he was defamed in that book.

According to Kyle, he and Ventura got into a confrontation in 2006 during a wake for a Navy SEAL who died in combat. Kyle claimed that Ventura made disparaging remarks about the war in Iraq, prompting Kyle to punch the former governor in the face.

The late author of American Sniper, who was shot to death by a Marine Corps reservist while attempting to help him work through his PTSD issues, claimed in his book that he knocked out Ventura who he referred to as “scruff face.” Kyle also claimed that Ventura told him “You deserve to lose a few.”

Kyle testified on video tape prior to his death that the anecdote was true, but Ventura consistently affirmed that he said no such thing.

Kyle’s attorneys argued that Ventura’s suit lacked merit. In January, a district judge considered throwing the former North Star State governor’s suit out entirely as he had renamed Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant in the wake of the author’s murder.

The suit did, however, go forward. On Monday, after five days of deliberation, a jury empaneled to deliberate on Ventura’s claim informed the presiding judge that could not reach a verdict. The jury was informed that the case would likely have to be retried if a verdict could not be reached and was ordered to continue deliberating.

On Tuesday, the jury came to a conclusion and ordered Kyle’s estate to provide Ventura with $1.8 million in damages.

Ventura is a noted conspiracy theorist whose kneejerk impulse to blame the American government for everything from the 9/11 attacks, to the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound, to the JFK assassination has netted him frequent appearances on networks like Russia Today. Chris Kyle served his country with distinction in the Navy and lost his life while helping his fellow veterans re-acclimate to civilian life. Justice is blind as a bat.

But a jury has determined that Ventura was defamed, and that offense should be addressed. It seems the height of cruelty to punish Kyle’s widow for her late husband’s offense.

An earlier version of this article identified Kyle’s killer, Eddie Ray Routh, as a Navy SEAL.


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The Associated Press @AP · 22s

After Jesse Ventura’s legal win, publisher to strike passage from ‘American Sniper’ book: http://apne.ws/1nTy4fg

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ventura-mixed-emotions-about-defamation-suit-win

canopfor on July 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Well I haven’t been following anything about this arrogant a$$ clown but when I saw that pic of him with a Navy Seals tshirt on, it made me want to punch him in the face.

scalleywag on July 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Justice has run its course. I hope Mrs. Kyle can appeal. In the meantime I resolve not to set foot in Minnesota.

wkh on July 29, 2014 at 5:58 PM

You know, I understand the sentiment here, but if you refuse to set foot in any state where a really stupid jury verdict was reached, you’d never touch the ground in the U.S.

Ricard on July 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Given that the more Jesse Ventura’s name is spoken or typed, the more self-congratulating and he will be, I’m going to depart from further commentary and cease feeding his masturbatory worldview.

Ricard on July 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Patriot Vet on July 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

. Take it from a former SEAL.

Firstly and lastly, thanks for your service and thanks for being on the teams. I always looked at you guys with pride knowing that the USN had the baddest SOB’s who could go anywhere and fight with the best.

The UDT’s came before the SEALs,

When Ventura was in the UDT the SEALs had existed for 8 years and were well established.

No, Ventura was never on an actual SEAL Team, but he did the same training and work.

He went through BUD/S but after that the training diverged.

There was no extra training to go to a SEAL Team.

That wasn’t the case back then. One of the reasons I know about this is that some of the people I work with are former SEAL/UDT from that era who hate his guts. As one of them put it: What’s the problem with calling yourself a Frogman? It’s an insult to the UDT to claim that you were something that you weren’t.

As far as his combat experience is concerned, I haven’t a clue.

He was never in combat. Despite having claimed to have hunted men in Vietnam and that his wrestling career ended because he was exposed to agent orange which gave him blood clots. (A side effect of steroid abuse)
Regardless, there is a point where faith has been broken to the point where, IMHO, you need to cut someone loose. Click on that link and you will see tht CAPT Larry Bailey wants his membership in the UDT/SEAL association pulled. Taking back his trident would be an impossibility since he was never given one in the first place.

V7_Sport on July 30, 2014 at 2:34 PM

In 2012, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the estate of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the author of the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, claiming that he was defamed in that book.

I don’t know why this is even news or in HA. The book sucked and no one cares about Jesse Ventura. (And yes, I did read the book. It was one big brag fest about Kyle and NO info about sniping in Iraq. A total waste of money.)

earlgrey on July 30, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Guess it takes an extra y-chromosome to legally beat up on a widow and take her money.

What a guy.

TimBuk3 on July 31, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Guess it takes an extra y-chromosome to legally beat up on a widow and take her money.

What a guy.

TimBuk3 on July 31, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Ventura sued the estate, not Kyle’s widow. What would you do in a similar situation, just leave the lie out there?

earlgrey on July 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

TimBuk3 on July 31, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Ventura sued the estate, not Kyle’s widow. What would you do in a similar situation, just leave the lie out there?

earlgrey on July 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

It wasn’t a lie. And are you made? Who gets Kyle’s estate?

The book was fine. Maybe you’re a little jealous of Kyle’s notoriety?

hawkdriver on July 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

This guy belongs in a rubber room. He’s beyond help.

RdLake on July 31, 2014 at 8:41 PM

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