To the surprise of many decent, fair minded Americans, former professional wrestler and politician Jesse Ventura won his defamation lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.
In an 8-2 verdict Tuesday, a federal jury in St. Paul, Minn., awarded the former governor more than $1.8 million for damage to his reputation and unjust enrichment, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.
In his 2012 best-selling book, Kyle described a bar fight where he decked a man identified as “Scruff Face,” for allegedly saying the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few” — Kyle would later acknowledge that this man was Ventura.
Ventura denied that the incident took place and filed suit, but Kyle, seen as an American hero by many, was shot to death at a Texas gun range while helping a fellow veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I am 6 feet 4, I weighed 255 pounds and I’ve wrestled Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, and this guy is going to knock me down with one punch and [leave] no mark on me whatsoever?” Ventura said.
To the chagrin of many, Ventura continued the case against Kyle’s estate, now in the care of his widow Taya Kyle, who is raising two young children alone.
The jury was deadlocked after six days of deliberations, but U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle — with attorneys from both sides in agreement — allowed a split verdict, the Star Tribune reported.
“That was a strategic call that seemed appropriate at the time,” John Borger, attorney for the Kyle estate, told reporters.
According to the Star Tribune, eight of the jurors voted in favor of Ventura — notwithstanding, this is the state that elected this man as their governor.
“I am overjoyed that my reputation was restored which is what this whole lawsuit is all about,” Ventura told the Star Tribune.
But don’t expect him to refuse the substantial award coming out of the purse of Kyle’s widow.
Had he not won, Ventura said he would have “permanently moved to Mexico …because I would have nothing here to live for. If you can’t win in court with the truth, there’s nothing left.”
Ventura explains his position further in the RT video below:
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