On her recently launched online TV channel
, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin criticized last month’s jury verdict awarding more than $1.8 million to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in his defamation lawsuit against the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Palin said that Ventura is "known for mouthing off" and said the lawsuit "has showed the real Jesse Ventura."
"Jesse Ventura claimed Chris caused him emotional distress by naming him in the story. He says it damaged his reputation.
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"Well Jesse, I think shaking down the widow and orphans of an American hero is no way to repair you’re reputation. Really, you’re piling it on now?"
Ventura filed suit following the publication of Kyle’s book "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,"
saying a passage about a purported fight between Kyle and Ventura was false.
In the book, Kyle wrote that he punched a man he referred to as "scruff face" in a California bar in 2006 after the man "disparaged Navy SEALS and said they 'deserved to lose some' for their actions in the war," according to The Washington Post
. Ventura said Kyle fabricated the entire incident. Ventura admits he was at the bar but that a fight never occurred. A jury rendered a split 8-to-2 decision in Ventura’s favor.
Though Kyle never identified Ventura in the book, he later did so in interviews. Kyle was fatally shot last year on a Texas gun range, purportedly by a Marine he was helping through post-traumatic stress, the Post reported.
Ventura pursued the lawsuit anyway.
On her website, Palin posted this note accompanying the video:
"Hey tough guy, Jesse Ventura, your feelings were hurt because you perceived your reputation was besmirched by words in a book? So you turn around and sue, expecting $2 million from a military widow and her fatherless children? Yeah, like that is going to help your reputation, jackass."
In her video post, Palin hammers Ventura, noting that "a lot of us go through a lot of things about what people say about us, but we don’t go running to the courthouse whining and crying that our reputation was hurt."
"Jesse, buck up or stay in the truck," she said.
Kyle’s widow, Taya, told CBS affiliate
WCCO that the verdict left her "shocked and speechless." Taya Kyle will be responsible for paying Ventura $500,000 in damages for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment.
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