Jesse Ventura recently won a defamation lawsuit against Navy SEAL Chris Kyle for $1.845 million, according to the Washington Post. Despite this, Ventura walks away from it with damage to his reputation. Ventura is the former Minnesota governor and WWE Hall of Fame wrestler.
The decision was made by a jury in Minnesota on Tuesday that the former governor was defamed by Kyle, who claimed that he punched Ventura in a bar in 2006 over comments made. Kyle a former Navy SEAL sniper, claimed that Ventura disparaged Navy SEALs and said they “deserved to lose some”for the actions they take in war.
Ventura claimed the incident never occurred. The jury, in an 8-2 vote, agreed with the former governor.
Even though he was awarded the money via a jury, Ventura is taking a beating from supporters of military personnel and veterans because he is taking money from the Kyle estate. Even if Kyle had lied about the incident, Ventura should have dropped the case after Kyle was killed on a gun range in Texas back in 2013.
Anderson Cooper, of CNN, said, “I cannot believe that Jesse Ventura successfully sued the widow of fallen Navy SEAL. Has he no shame?”
The author of “Lone Survivor,” Marcus Luttrell, said on Twitter: “I don’t want to formally say anything because I don’t want to get sued, but this about sums it up…”
In his 2012 bestselling book, “American Sniper,” Kyle claimed to have punched out a celebrity in a bar after verbal attacks. He never identified Ventura as the celebrity in the book, but did during media interviews.
Royalties from the book have hit the $3 million mark and now it is being turned into a movie. The widow of Kyle expressed disappointment in the jury verdict through family lawyer John Borger.
“I can’t go to UDT-SEAL reunions anymore because that was the place I always felt safe, and who will be next to throw me under the bus?” Ventura said. “I’d have to spend my time looking over my shoulder.”