Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Case, Awarded $1.8 Million

A quick update to my recent post “Jesse Ventura Claims Loss of Work and Income Due to Defamation“: CBS News reports that Jesse Ventura is victorious in his defamation case against the estate of American Sniper author Chris Kyle and the jury has awarded him $1.8 million:

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

Ventura was awarded $1.3 million for unjust enrichment, and $500,000 in damages for defamation, CBS station WCCO reports.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him. Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death last year that his story was accurate.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove “actual malice.” According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

The jury told the judge Monday that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. On Tuesday, attorneys for both sides agreed that the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.

After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly…

[continues at CBS News]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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7 Comments on "Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Case, Awarded $1.8 Million"

  1. Echar Lailoken | Jul 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm |

    I did not expect him to win. Also I didn’t know that he started the lawsuit process prior to his death. This makes him seem less questionable.

  2. Kragnorak | Jul 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm |

    Now Jesse Ventura needs to sue himself for defamation of character. I’ve already seen people on FB calling for his throat to be slit because they believed the media headlines which made it seem like he specifically went after the SEAL’s widow for money. Hopefully a lesson about lawsuits will be learned here. “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…”

    • Simon Valentine | Jul 30, 2014 at 6:50 pm |

      You mean every goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus has a short reach?

      Cicero would never sing in Greek.

  3. 11 eyewitnesses testified to Kyle’s account and this fucking scumbag still won his case.

    • gregjons | Aug 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm |

      If anything that shows how poor the defense was considering it was Jesse vs a dead war heroes crying widow. While Kyle was still alive he contradicted his own story in a deposition and also recanted the “chairs flying” part of the book. It’s not Jesse’s fault he died before things could be settled. Just because the guy is dead doesn’t mean he didn’t make money unjustly by lying about some fight and a Jury who was actually shown all the evidence agrees.

  4. Streisand Effect.

    It doesn’t matter if he won the suit or not. Now everyone has heard the story.

  5. Number1Framer | Jul 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

    I still can’t figure out how you can ‘defame’ a horse’s ass.

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