Jesse Ventura has been awarded a 1.8 million dollar settlement in his lawsuit against the estate of late American Sniper
author, Chris Kyle.
A federal jury decided in favor of Ventura's claims that the book defamed him and damaged his career and reputation. A former Pro Wrestler and Minnesota Governor, Ventura currently works as an author and television presenter.
The lawsuit centers on a passage in the book where Kyle claimed to have punched a man he called "Scruff Face" in a California bar in 2006. Kyle wrote that the man had expressed a hatred of America and had stated that the Navy SEALs “deserved to lose a few." Kyle later identified "Scruff Face" as Ventura. Kyle and Ventura were both ex- SEALs. Ventura claimed that he was and is proud of his involvement with the SEALs, and Kyle's accusations smeared his name in the community of current and former members of the elite Navy special ops force.
Ventura's attorney, David Bradley Olsen, asserted that conflicting stories from defense witnesses rendered their version of the 2006 incident untrustworthy, and that Ventura's alleged comments were highly inconsistent with Ventura's character and widely-known pro-SEALs opinions. Multiple witnesses for Ventura also claimed that the incident with Kyle never happened.
Kyle, who was murdered at a Texas gun range last year, was represented by his widow Taya in the court proceedings.
Kyle's autobiography, American Sniper
, published in 2012, focused on his extensive military service, including his claim to have been the "deadliest sniper in American military history." The book became a New York Times
bestseller, and a film adaptation is currently in production.
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