Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has won a $1.8 million defamation lawsuit from a slain Navy SEAL sniper.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Jesse Ventura sued the estate of former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle – who had the most confirmed kills by any U.S. military sniper in history – after Kyle allegedly wrote about Ventura in his 2013 book, American Sniper.
In the book, Kyle wrote that he punched out a celebrity while mourning the death of a Navy SEAL and future Medal of Honor recipient, Master at Arms 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, according to the Washington Post. Kyle did not name the celebrity in the book but did say that he took a swing at the celebrity after he “started running his mouth about the war and everything and anything he could connect to it.” Kyle said that the celebrity – allegedly Jesse Ventura – connected President George W. Bush and deployed SEAL’s that were “doing the wrong thing, killing men and women and children and murdering.”
According to Jesse Ventura, none of this ever happened.
Kyle continued in his book, stating he told the celebrity – who Kyle identified in the book as “Mr. Scruff-Face” – to keep it down. The celebrity, allegedly Jesse Ventura, then said that the SEALs “deserved to lose a few.”
Chris Kyle wrote about his reaction in his book:
“Being level-headed and calm can only last so long. I laid him out. Tables flew. Stuff happened. Scruff-Face ended up on the floor.”
Kyle later told interviewers while promoting his book that the celebrity, Mr. Scruff-Face, was actually Jesse Ventura.
Chris Kyle was killed in Texas in February, 2013 by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh, who Kyle had been attempting to help by taking to a gun range. Routh apparently suffered from PTSD, and shot Kyle, killing him.
Meanwhile, Jesse Ventura decided to sue Kyle’s widow and children for defamation. Jesse’s advisors told him that it would be a tough suit to win. In order to do so, Jesse Ventura’s legal team would have to convince a jury that Kyle knew the story told in the book was a falsehood. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Kyle’s widow, Taya, said last Wednesday that her husband “didn’t lie, and he planned to donate the proceeds from his book to charity.”
Those proceeds are reportedly at about $3 million and rising.
After six days of deliberation, the jury finally came back with a verdict. Earlier this afternoon, a judge awarded Jesse Ventura $1.845 million in damages.
Chris Kyle’s book, American Sniper, is currently being made into a movie by Clint Eastwood – starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle. There’s no word whether Jesse Ventura’s part in the story will be included, but we’re guessing not.