Ventura awarded $1.8 million in defamation suit

Jesse Ventura points to a reporter at Harvard University October 6, 2009. (REUTERS, file)

Jesse Ventura points to a reporter at Harvard University October 6, 2009. (REUTERS, file)

Art Hughes, Reuters

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

ST PAUL, Minn.  - A jury on Tuesday ruled that former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura had been defamed in a book by an ex-Navy SEAL who claimed the two were in a bar fight and awarded him more than $1.8 million in damages.

In an 8-2 decision, the federal jury in St. Paul, Minnesota, awarded Ventura $1.35 million for unjust enrichment and $500,000 for defamation over the book by former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was killed in 2013 at a Texas shooting range by an Iraq war veteran.

Kyle wrote in his bestselling book "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" that he got into a fight with a man who made disparaging remarks about the Navy SEALS.

Kyle later identified the man as Ventura. The jury deliberated for six days before announcing its verdict.

Ventura, a former pro-wrestler who had a few minor roles in movies before becoming a politician, sued Kyle's estate for an undisclosed amount of money, saying his reputation was left in shambles by the passage in a book.


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