Jesse Ventura's Lawsuit Against Deceased SEAL Allowed to Continue

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 01:24 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura can continue his libel lawsuit against the estate of the late "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle after a judge ruled the war hero's widow can be a substitute defendant.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan issued the ruling last week, paving the way for Ventura to go after Tara Kyle, executor of her husband's estate, in an effort to collect damages. Ventura believes the 2012 book written by the former Navy SEAL defames him.

Ventura, who became governor after a career that included service as a Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, and Hollywood actor, sued Chris Kyle over a brief passage in the book alleging that he had punched Ventura in the face in 2006 in a California bar because he made derogatory remarks about the nation and then-President George W. Bush.

Ventura was identified in the book only as "Scruff Face," but Kyle said later in media interviews that his altercation was with the former governor.

According to Fox News, Ventura produced affidavits saying the fight never happened, but Kyle was killed in February by a veteran he had been mentoring before the case could move forward.

Ventura's attorney had argued before Judge Boylan that the case should continue because Kyle's widow and her husband's estate would continue to profit from the sales of "American Sniper" and from a recent movie deal for the story.

Boylan also ruled on a friend-of-the-court petition asking that Ventura's deposition in the case can be made public. Boylan said it should, although he agreed to allow Ventura's attorney to edit out some of the more private parts.

UPI reported that the petition was brought by longtime Ventura nemesis Leslie Davis, who claims Ventura misrepresented his military service.

Davis contends Ventura was a member of the Navy's underwater demolition team, which later merged with the SEALs, but was never a SEAL himself.

"I'm intervening because he's a fraud," Davis told UPI, referring to Ventura. "Part of it was to challenge his Navy SEAL credentials, but I was saying he wasn't defamed. He wasn't injured [by Kyle]."



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