Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who sued iconic Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, has lost his appeal to have a $1.8 million lawsuit reinstated. Ventura, a Navy SEAL himself, sued the “American Sniper,” on the grounds of defamation within the SEAL community after an event in a bar was transcribed in the sniper’s book.
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According to reports, the verdict upheld the lower appellate court’s ruling, and in this case, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals “failed as a matter of law.”
The verdict stemmed from a passage in Kyle’s best-selling autobiography, American Sniper, which claimed Ventura allegedly told Kyle the SEALS “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq at a California bar. Kyle indicated that he punched the former Minnesota Gov., an event that Ventura profusely denied.
Ventura told the courts that the entire incident was made up and never happened. He further stated that the statement made in the book hurt his reputation within the SEAL community. In 2014, a jury agreed with Ventura and awarded $500,000 for defamation and $1.35 million for unjust enrichment.
The unjust enrichment part of the settlement was reversed and the three-judge panel agreed that Ventura’s legal team damaged the defendant’s chance of a fair trial by telling jurors an insurance policy would cover the cost of damages awarded in court.
Ventura said in a statement published by the New York Post, “He did lie — and that was proven in court. The appeal was overturned on a technicality. And the judges went against their rules [and] laws to do it. Politics.” He added, “[The] truth will come out again in the new trial.”
Even though the case was denied, Ventura could have the case retried in Minnesota and has said that he will continue fighting.
Kyle, who was one of the most famous US SEALs in history for his deadly accuracy behind a sniper rifle, was murdered in Texas at a gun range in 2013 by a fellow military veteran who suffered from PTSD and mental illness. Kyle’s book sold more than 1.2 million copies since being released in 2012.